By Renee Fraser, Ph.D., CEO and Founder, Fraser Communications
As a Boomer, I was raised to keep the details of my life to myself. As a child of good Methodists, I was never supposed to complain and appreciate all that I had. It was not until later in life as an adult that I realized my parents were high functioning alcoholics. And, of course, that has shaped my life in many ways. But, sharing these kinds of details was never pleasant or expected. Today, we are in the era of “over-sharing” with social media providing a great stage for all of us to reveal the good and the bad of our lives.
As we know, most people only share the good parts of their lives on social media and this causes some FOMO. In order to curb this and the way in which “fear of missing out” can hurt ones self-esteem, we should only view social media for 30 minutes a day.
But, recently I attended a great one-person show by Nick Cavarra, Growing Up Crazy. I know Nick well because he worked at Fraser for several years and helped us produce our radio show, Unfinished Business. But, I did not know about his family upbringing.
In his show Nick sings very relevant songs as he shares the ups and downs of having a loving Italian father with bi-polar disorder. His stories were vivid and, in some cases, sad. But, this let me see a part of Nick I had never know. He was courageous, but he also opened our eyes. Growing up several of my friends had parents (mostly mothers) who never went out of the house or had to sleep for days. They were suffering from anxieties and psychological disorders. Not until I became a psychologist did I realize this. And, sadly I don’t think I understood the impact it had on their children… Until I saw Nick’s show.
My takeaway is that we only know one another on the surface. And a lot of us keep that surface shiny and clean to keep our weaknesses hidden. I am not sure that is a good idea. The more we reveal, the more we find we have in common and the more empathy we have for others. I think we need more empathy and patience as we work together and face challenges.
So, I have begun to ponder what shaped me and my life… I will be sharing more about those memories and forces. But I promise not to get into TMI.