november newsletter: feedback [2019]

November 30, 2019

Modern lives revolve around feedback. We invite more people than necessary to comment on the ins and outs of what we’re doing, who we’re doing it with, and what we think and believe. Any regular person – someone with less than 1,000 followers – can reach hundreds of people in just one click.

These days, no personal detail is left unpublished. Instead of intense moments like childbirth remaining private, they are professionally photographed, filmed, and posted online for all to see. Please do not hear me knocking anyone who chooses to post this stuff; what you feel called to share is your choice. I am a millennial, so by default, I am guilty of posting more details of my life than necessary at times.

There are kinds of feedback that are important to emotional, mental, and spiritual growth. Close friends, significant others, counselors, parents of dependent children, teachers, coaches, and pastors can all provide meaningful feedback to be considered in decision making and life trajectory. These people help form who we are, and they are the ones sitting beside us to celebrate life, support us during tragedy, and navigate different stages of life.

I see people who make their living via social media speak of those who follow them as their “community,” and I often wonder if having such a large “community” can be damaging in the long run. I wonder if the definition of community has been lost in an entirely too connected society, and if we’ve become wholly dependent on what strangers say to us and about our lives.

Who are you when nobody is liking or sharing or responding to what you’re doing? Is it possible to work hard in your business, go through something challenging, or celebrate a life event without anyone watching? Do you do it for the pictures or for the memories? Would your business still thrive if social media disappeared tomorrow?

These are important questions to ask as technology and society continue to progress, and I do consider it progression. A lot of the tools we have today that make life more efficient would not exist if not for this technology, and I love seeing photos of my friends’ kids, families, and activities. Like most things, there are pros and cons.

Let’s be mindful as things change quicker than ever before, and find joy in reality.

All the best,

Syd Phil