Every morning is the same.
I wake up with some degree of a migraine, my sleepy eyes have me lookin’ like I’m an Asian Forest Whitaker, and within the first 1 minute of me coming back to life after a late-night bender of Super Smash Bros, I’m already 30 posts deep on Facebook and Google News looking for content to share, commentate, and analyze for my social media page. If I’m on my A-game, I’ll already have the entire day’s worth of content written and scheduled before I even take a lunch.
This is my life as a social media activist. I’ve lived nearly every morning, for the last four (give or take) years doing this exact same thing and it’s this process that has lead me to a social media following of over 200,000 on Facebook alone.
I’m known for my writing on race, politics, and pop culture, but all my writing exists on Facebook. I rarely write full-blown articles, and instead, I choose to post original writing natively on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Instead of linking you to my fancy shmancy blog, I deliver the goods straight to your face on a social media platform I named “The Love Life of an Asian Guy.”
It’s awkward when people ask me about my following and how I accomplished all of this. None of this shit was planned. You think I grew up wanting to be an online blogger? Fuck no. I wanted to be a rich real estate prick with marble mansions and water fountains that shot out Lamborghini jizz. I don’t even know what Lamborghini jizz looks like, but it sounds expensive as fuck and I wanted to be rich enough to afford all of my ridiculous purchases. But the life I’m living now is actually quite alright.
I can wake up whenever I want.
I never clock in.
I never clock out.
I don’t have to wear a shitty striped tie to “Striped Tie Tuesdays” or whatever bullshit program the office middleman concocted.
I can work from home, the Starbucks down the street, or the Starbucks down the street from that one.
I have what many would consider a dream job.
I feel so unfulfilled.
It’s not my job that’s making me depressed. Nor is it my marriage. Or my physical health.
It’s my mental health. It’s the fact that I have to wake up every morning feeling like I’ve accomplished things, and yet my (brace yourselves for the cringe) soul doesn’t feel like it’s being stimulated. Part of this is because of social media.
You see, good social media content creators know how to showcase their opinions and creations in a way that’s appealing to their viewers. But great social media content creators know how to showcase their audience’s opinions and show everyone that they too feel the same way.
I’m the latter. I’m great at posting inclusive content and starting intersectional conversations about identity that relate to everyone else, but I’m terrible at expressing my actual emotions. I’m terrible about talking about me.
I post so much content on social media for my fans and I share my opinions and my experiences with you, but I don’t always share my feelings. Like, my feelings feelings. My grief. My loneliness. My depression. I’m asked on a daily basis to share posts about someone shot in one city, or a baby killed in another. And these are all very important things. So important that I feel like they deserve more space on my own platform than my own feelings.
It’s easy to detach yourself from conversations about systemic inequality or the conflict in Israel-Palestine when you’re analyzing it from a bird’s eye view. When you talk about racism, sexism, and queerphobia as much as I do, you become numb to it all because at the end of the day, you don’t remember all the things you post. You just keep posting, sharing, and producing content for your fans because they need it. They ask for it. And it’s my job to deliver.
You start to see each conversation not as an opportunity to truly bridge a connection with others, but as an opportunity to keep your audience stimulated, entertained, and happy. This isn’t to say that my opinions on these topics are fake. But they are just a snippet of how I feel and they lack the nuance and depth that I believe comes off smoother when I talk in person or during a livestream.
And this relationship of writing for my fans first, and not myself, has made me, in many ways, lose my voice.
I need to find my voice again.
And it starts here on this blog.
Fuck a thinkpiece.
I wanna blog, baby.