As a ballerina, there are many days where it’s easy to forget your self- worth and get trapped in the self- deprecating psyche that is all to common to the art form. I call most of these days Monday, but they can happen quite frequently, for a few hours, days or maybe even for weeks at a time. These are the days when you find out that you weren’t cast, or maybe you’re second cast and you’ll never get to rehearse until you’re on stage. These are the days when you can’t even whip out a good double pirouette and you may as well just quit. You need some instant gratification. You post a #tbt from a few years ago when you were skinny and fabulous ( #youstillare) and wait for the “likes” to flow in. The ‘likes’ make you feel loved and remind you of the amazing person that you were ( #youstillare) and goddamn it, people really like you. Does it matter that you maybe only know a handful of them? Nope. All that matters is that your “like” squad is on pointe (:)) and your support system of friends and strangers is there to pick you up when you feel like you may never get up again.
Social media has taken the world by storm. I agree with many that say the age of technology has made us less patient, less focused and less likely to indulge in face to face encounters. It’s made us hyper-aware and in need of instant gratification, and maybe even a little lazy. It has morphed so much of what we perceive as cool, sexy and popular. As young women it’s had a huge influence on our self-image and self-worth, promoting superficial and negative standards. Despite the harsh impact it’s had on society at large, social media has had a significantly positive impact on the arts community. It’s become a great way to organize and plan events and invite a vast audience. Social media has made it easy to self-promote and raise funds for projects and ideas. It’s a convenient way to keep in touch with a broad and growing arts community. It can be used as a platform for change to raise awareness or spread a petition. It’s a quick and simple way to share and send videos and reels, watch and learn from an endless supply of YouTube videos and even live stream performances. Just in case your attention is waning and you can only read a few short sentences at a time, here’s my Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media:
Do: Wish everyone a happy birthday. Post exciting new things that are happening in your life. Spread the word about projects and events. Share interesting articles and videos. Start a worthwhile Kickstarter. Research and reach out to people with common interests and causes. Congratulate and support your fellow friends and artists.
Don’t: Judge your self- worth by followers or likes. Be discouraged by what seems like endless positivity posts. Be a bully or say things you don’t have the courage to say in person. Post compromising photos (Your boss has Facebook). Stalk your ex. Believe everything you read. Use it as a basis for your standards of health, beauty and happiness. Stare at your phone all day and be anti-social.
The convenience of social media is more than just a quick reminder of people you may never meet having a birthday. It’s created a forum to connect with people around the world. If you’re a 90’s kid like me, it can still seem a bit foreign and overwhelming at times, but we should all be grateful we knew a time before Twitter and cyber bullying. So I say use social media to your advantage, the possibilities are endless…but be the change you want to tweet about…#mypointe_exactly