Free-Range Social Media

I’m living in a space right now that will cease to exist. Two different realities at once.

It’s like being being newly pregnant when you don’t tell anyone until you deem it “safe.” For some, that’s as soon as they find out. When I was pregnant with my son, I waited to tell most people until I was halfway through.

Typical. I’m pretty good with secrets.

But with every secret comes intense feelings. Joy and fear with a pregnancy. Most days I feel a lot of turmoil regarding my life as Mrs Q.

Having a secret identity is not glamorous. It’s hugely stressful.

So when I went to Blissdom and heard Dr. Brene Brown speech about shame, it resonated with me. I found her blog Ordinary Courage a few months ago, but right away I could tell she was the kind of person I’d like. When it was announced late that she was speaking, I knew it would be powerful.

Why would a speaker address a bunch of bloggers about shame? Because she defines shame as the fear of disconnection. Isn’t that what most bloggers fear? According to Dr. Brown, shame is about feeling “not good enough” and “not worthy of connection.”

Many “in real life” people will find out about this blog later this year. I like to think that most will have positive reactions, but some might feel betrayed by this rather large thing I did…without breathing a word to anyone. I really hope that they will be able to keep in mind why I ate the lunches and blogged them: for the kids.

Anyway, Dr. Brown launched a new movement in blogging while she was at Blissdom. It’s called Free-Range Social Media:

I love this. Dr. Brown is advocating “No cages, no copying, no cruelty.” Cages refer to bloggers restricting themselves and not allowing their own natural growth through exploration of lots of topics because of fearing loss of readers. “No copying” is self-explanatory (that’s a message to the TWO fake Fed Up With Lunch facebook groups!!) and so is “no cruelty.” I really love the discussions we have on this blog — it’s a political blog that’s for sure so keep all your interesting comments coming! 🙂

Dr. Brown encouraged sharing of these rules. I think they are worth spreading. If you want to get a taste of her talk at Blissdom, you can watch her TEDxHouston talk below: (My own blissdom recap post to come next week…I’m slow, I know)

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11 thoughts on “Free-Range Social Media

  1. I was just watching her video yesterday! She's fantastic. There are serious copycat Facebook pages?? Whatevs – you're the one and only!!

  2. I have watched her TED talk 3 times already and it resonated very deeply with me. I had no idea about her social media initiative and love her even more now. Thanks so much for sharing.

  3. I have enjoyed reading your blog in the past year, but somehow the subscription fell out of my google reader. I came by to see how you were doing and saw you are not gluten-free and dairy-free and need to pack lunches. As part of my blog, I post a gluten-free, dairy-free lunchbox 5 days a week – many of the lunchboxes are vegan as well – I am intolerant to chicken eggs as well as gluten and dairy. I do some gluten-free baking with duck eggs, and occasionally eat fish or meat, but that tends to be part of dinner meals and not my lunches. I hope you stop by – it might help with some ideas to relieve the boredom of packing a lunchbox – I definitely got a couple of ideas from your lunchboxes 🙂

  4. I sincerely hope your real life friends can set aside their own feelings and celebrate what you did. It's ok that you kept this anonymous. You have perfectly valid reasons for doing so. You've made a huge difference in the lives of children, because you've made us all stop and think about what we put into their bodies, and our own. Not just in terms of school lunches, my own son doesn't even have that option since he's in a Charter School with no cafeteria, but what we put in our bodies all day, everyday, 365 days a year. It's not about one meal a day, it's about all the meals and making them the best they can be so we can be a healthy, happy, secure society.

  5. Thanks for being a source of information and an awakening to topics I may not have considered before. The video was great!

  6. I also am optimistic that the people you tell may be a bit surprised at first, but once they take a look at your blog, they will be proud of you.

  7. Are the FB groups really "fake?" It looks to me like they are just fans. (N.B. I am not a member of them; your post prompted me to look them up.)

  8. I can relate. My blog is not a secret to my "real" friends and family, but most of them don't get it. So it's hard to connect with them about it. I understand, without being a blogger you can't understand. It's like parenting. You just don't know until you become one.

    On the flip side, I don't like acquaintances to know about my blog, because I don't want to come off as the food police or judge and jury of parents with picky eaters.

    recently at a school food reform meeting our CNS director said "i saw your jamie oliver video" i was mortified! i'm proud of my work, and i put it out there for the world to see, but for him to reference it during a business meeting (it wasn't relevant), i got very self conscious about my voice, my message, etc.

    i don't mind anonymous readers judging me, but when people i actually know judge me it can be quite intense.

    good luck with the big reveal. like everything in life, it will have a cycle, and the cycle will eventually, or start anew. keep that in mind when dealing with the collateral damage.

    thank you for having the courage for doing what you did, and for your strength to bear all the stress. being a revolutionary is not for the weak of heart.

  9. I just found your blog and can relate to much of what you write about. My kids are not in public school, but I can still agree with what you say about food. I'm also not a WalMart shopper (for almost 7 years now) and strongly believe in support local, small business-from coffee shops to farms. I blog about our (what some might call "alternative") lifestyle and yet still feel caged because I'm afraid to alienate my friends, family, and readers even more. I am so glad to have found your blog and hope you don't mind if I link to yours.

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