... And The Purpose Of It All
It came to me while circumambulating the Tilokpur Nunnery on the outskirts of Dharamsala, that I would like to openly address and share my internal dialogue that is now many years in process on the topic of Social Media.
I have technically been on a form of Social Media since I was 12 years old. I am now 25. It all began with Xanga, a form of open space that was all word centered with very little images. A public diary that many of my classmates and myself all had at the time. My public narrative around the story of self began there. Over the years Xanga turned into Myspace and then Facebook, which morphed into Instagram, and then Twitter and now Snapchat. These became the spaces that hosted my coming of age and a few of them continue on in real time as I grapple with the complexity of our modern world. About 5 years ago I began to deeply question the purpose of these spaces and how exactly I wanted to participate or not participate in them. I have worked my way through the spectrum of this exploration, at times taking long breaks from posts, shifting my privacy settings, becoming upset with lack of etiquette and in other moments feeling supremely grateful for what is offered and made possible.
Here is one of the main points as to why I have kept a continual conversation going online over these many years. It doesn’t seem to matter where I go, or what theme of a project I might be working with. Time and again when I ask groups of people to name how it is they would like to show up and support the many topics on hand it always seems to come back to these spaces, especially with younger generations. When I was in Sweden for the first time I took a strong vow to myself that I would only utilize Social Media to nurture topics of urgency and to share the joy that I feel from engaging in the type of work that I do. I specifically remember wanting to give people the feeling of such inspiration that they would feel compelled to move away from the screen and go and do something! This vow has only grown and deepened over the past few years, so much so that in all honesty you should know that I do think about every single post that I choose to share. My spaces online are closely and critically curated, especially as the conversation around extractive story telling continues to evolve and unfold beneath every project that I participate in. I am always asking myself how to best engage my own creativity with an issue of interest in hopes that it will spark an opening thought, or help continue the dialogue on matters that rest heavily on my own heart.
I decided that I wanted to openly share about this after this last week where I had the pleasure of spending 5 days at the Tilopkur Nunnery in India. After living out these days in such close daily contact with a group of nuns that were in fact my peers in terms of age, I started to question how I might like to better show up to the world and to my work. The nuns were always punctual and incredibly sharp minded, articulating detailed thoughts when posed with any question. They made me feel a bit sloppy in comparison. At one point it was clearly stated to me that their way of life was really about creating a stronger light in oneself in order to better share and spread this light to others. In this moment I thought to myself, "Why do we not do more of this? Why are we not stating our true reason and purpose for walking in this world? Why am I not taking the time to reflect on how I can best show up every day?"
I have thought up and heard many of the arguments against Social Media in the 13 years that I have been actively using it. I have also seen movements made possible through these platforms during crucial moments in my own history and made many connections with individuals that have realized themselves in real time and space. At this point in my current daily life I am living and working very decentralized. This mode of life has been greatly made possible by the ability to work online with others and there has not been a single day in these past months that I have not been completely humbled by the individuals that I have been able to collaborate with because of these online mediums. Taking this into account for myself in these last weeks in which I have taken a break from screens, I feel more than willing to come back and participate even more diligently in these spaces and with a strong conviction for incorporating these words of transparency over to you. If you sometimes follow my journey or click ‘like’ to some of my words please note this: These spaces (FB, IG, my website) are only one sliver of what makes up Kailea. I am a conscious steward over what I share on these platforms always aiming for my posts to be informative, dynamic and beautiful. These spaces are part story of self, part story of the world and I am continuously assessing and shifting how much of the story of self I should share here. Aside from the family post every now and then you should be aware that all of my online spaces are dedicated to sharing the beauty and pain of our earth today. These are the types of dialogues that I wish to perpetuate. I also actively choose to show up here in support of those that also feel a deep dedication to engage in the good work which can at times feel like really hard work. Lastly, I always value conversations in person. Online etiquette is crucial to me. If you have something you wish to share in a strong way please know that I am an open and curious human being with real feelings. I always respond to honest and respectful feedback. That being said I am wishing to generate conversation on strong themes so do respond. It is always a call to practice new ways of communicating that allow for broader perspectives to be held. System change after all is multi faceted and takes a variety of human beings all interacting at the same time to be made possible.
- Onwards Dear Friends –
With a fond heart from somewhere high above the vastness of the Pacific Ocean,