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Recording a video monologue is harder than it looks.

I was invited to join a small Marco Polo (asyc video chat) group recently, and it was personally revealing how difficult I found it to engage with.

It's hard to have a realistic self image. You're not often in a position to observe yourself in the 3rd person, and even the sound of your own voice is distorted by how it resonates in your skull. In spite of that, you build up an image of yourself and your capabilities, and it's jarring when that's reflected back differently than you expect.

A brief, low stakes, extemporaneous video sounds like it should be an easy thing. Seeing other people do it makes it seem so natural and casual. And in this streaming era, you see people doing it more than ever. It's a novel medium with more bandwidth for emotion and nuance than a text post alone, and there's the potential for it to add a valuable dimension in community building when in person meetups aren't practical.

But when I get on and start recording, I'm immediately conscious of how I'm used to being able to organize and edit my thoughts in writing or to have feedback and interplay with a conversation partner. With this, I'm confronted with how I look and sound even as I'm trying to find something to say and worrying about an impression and response that I can't see, and the process just runs into the ground for me. It's sort of all of my anxieties at once, and I'm somewhat surprised by how unequipped I am to deal with it. Outlining beforehand doesn't help much; it ends up feeling and looking unnatural.

Part of the problem is deeper insecurities about expression. I've been around fundamentalism for most of my life, though with struggles over faith and eventually lapsing completely into closeted apostasy, and the facade and filter you have to wear in public life makes you second guess everything. People seem to think that I'm thoughtful, but much of that is habitual guardedness and doing the math on how to tell someone what they want to hear. I do empathize with people, but naturally expressing myself is an underdeveloped skill. In religion that often ends up having punitive consequences, and even secularly there's a balance to what's appropriate to share, and my intuition for it is weak.

There's a fallacy in worrying too much about how you compare to others. I do not have to be a perfect, entertaining orator to be worth the attention of an informal community if what I'm expressing is sincere and meaningful. But it's illuminating to have that perspective and meditate on what else it says about where you are in your personal development, and this experience has given me some things to think about.

Improbability 6 Nov 15
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People do not fit very well in boxes. These attributes can be mixed. My sister had thirty one people for Thanksgivings. I don't do crowds very well in these circumstances, I do not like to get into the flow. Small talk in not my thing. When asked to join I, explained all families need a nutball who stays in the corner. I continued, that the job had good security but the pay sucked. In my work I leaned to speak well to groups. Otherwise, it was one on one or solitude in one form or another. Take care and be safe.


very interesting

TheDoubter Level 9 Nov 15, 2019

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