I look at your Facebook page and I see your tweets. I see all the grand adventures you’ve gone on. I see the things you’re presenting all around the county. I love it all. But it makes me wonder. Are we who we say we are?
Social media is a beautiful thing, but many times I feel like we often fall into a trap of showing the good parts of life instead of embracing all parts of life. This has gone on even before social media happened. How many times have you run into someone at the store and even if you’re having a bad day you’ll share only good things with them and smile through the sadness in your eyes. I’ve been asking myself for years if this is what we should really be doing.
Smiling through the rough times can be useful, but at the same time misleading, especially for a boy like me. You get on this kick that everything is always functioning so very well around you and that problems are only happening to you. You start to think that maybe you’re doing something wrong all the time. I have to admit that I’m calling out myself on this too. If you judged me by my twitter feed, you might see me as a curious librarian who is always doing things for my teens. The truth is that I have really bad days sometimes. There are moments where I feel like less of a teen librarian and more like a policeman. For example: we have 12 computers in my teen area and the teens with library cards each get a maximum of one hour per day of computer time. This rule is in place so that we don’t have long queues for our computers. Naturally, one hour per day isn’t going to do it for most teens. This has led to some sort of “black market” for library cards in our area. Teens will trade items and favors for library card numbers in hopes of getting more than one hour per day. As the person in charge of the area, one of my tasks can be breaking up these library card number rings. I have to question teens about how and why they are doing this. I have to ask them to leave the library for a day or two sometimes when they’re blatantly breaking the rules. That, in my humble opinion, is not just good librarianship. In a way, it’s driving some teens away from the library. That’s not what I am here to do. And do I ever talk about this situation? No. It was my dirty little secret until now.
In order to be the best Justin I can be (which is what I consider to be a main priority for me during my time here on Earth), I’ve gotta stop doing this. I have to start saying and showing who I am more. The good, the bad, and the ugly, and I urge all of you to do the same.
I’m very curious to see if the brutal honest truth is the way forward. As I said above in my tweet, I want wonderful, authentic experiences with other humans. Will showing the bad along with the good drive people away? We’ll see.