Are You Telling Your “Story”?

Photo by Jason A. Howie Pin
Photo by Jason A. Howie

As an avid user of social media, and the internet in general, I’ve been fascinated watching the popularity of apps like Snapchat, without fully understand the appeal. Recently, however, I’ve blogged about my discovery of how useful something like Snapchat or Instagram’s “story” feature could be:

I was a late-comer to understanding what Snapchat could offer, but recently, I have started using my Snapchat story to document some of the odd, funny, things I come across while traveling, or to send a pic to specific people, knowing full well that it’ll disappear in 24 hours. It’s not about creating something permanent that equates to how I would want to be seen by someone, perhaps a potential employer, who hit up my social media profile. I have my blog, twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook profiles for that. This is just about having fun with friends while I’m traveling around the world.


I think there is a place for that. I think the kids are on to something.


So, if you want to see some of the silliness, feel free to add me on snapchat.

Now for me, as someone who does travel quite a bit for a living, using Snapchat to simply have some fun, and stay connected, makes a lot of sense, but it got me thinking about the online survivor and mental health communities. Could something like “stories” be useful to share your day to day story of healing or overcoming, while also providing a sense of freedom, knowing that the posts would only exist for about 24 hours? Or that you could have a social connection to friends without fear tht someone will see the posts years from now and take them out of context? I think there’s something to be said for that.

On the other hand, these are photo social networks, so how much can we really tell the nuances of our stories using those particular avenues? Could it be used to share inspirational images on a daily basis? Could it be used to share moods and updates with friends and family? More importantly, is anyone already doing this?

Clearly, for myself, I have been willing to share my story of surviving abuse and mental health issues in my past in the permanent form of this blog. I know, however, that there are lots of survivors who chose not to do that. I wonder if any of them would benefit from the temporary nature of stories as a way to get the benefits of telling their story, and connecting with others who have similar stories, without having something that will show up in Google results?

Again, I think there might be something to that.

Has anyone out there considered it, or decided that it was for them? I’d love to see what your story looks like if you’d be willing to share it with me, or your thoughts on how it is working for you.

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  1. Two days ago, I finally finished and published my first book, “Becoming A Man in the Shadowlands.” It is the true story of a boy’s survival of childhood abuse. I was that boy, and this is my story.

    One day over a cup of coffee I told a friend that I had been sexually abused as a child. That simple sharing of a secret that I had been hiding from myself for so many years began the process of healing as it unleashed a flood of memories. The experience was almost overwhelming and to restore order to the chaos of recollection; I started a journal which evolved into the story of my childhood.

    The decision to go public about the dark side of my childhood is both terrifying and liberating. Secrets imprison us in silence.

    Sharing my experiences through my writing is my way of giving back, and it is my personal pathway toward healing. Since I’ve reached that point in my journey, where there is more scenery in the rear view mirror than there is roadway ahead, I now have the time to write. I would rather hit the end of the road at full throttle than coast to a stop in the sunset.

    Every survivor has a different saga, and it is a mistake to believe the story of one is the story for all. Like snowflakes in a blizzard, each of us is unique. Within each of us, there is a common desire to heal and thrive despite our injury. None of us has the power to change our past, but we each have the capacity to change how the past affects us today.

    If you or anyone you know has ever been a victim of childhood abuse, I invite you to check out my story. The book is 41,000 words.

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