For Your Entertainment — online platforms as a career

The internet offers hope to the isolated individual as a source of social connection and, even, income – through turning a hobby into a business and sharing their stories or expertise. However, as with many careers, I wonder if chances of success are significantly weighted towards those with socioeconomic and other privilege and the dream that is popularised by great success stories is, in truth, denied to most.

I wonder what harm is being done to those who place all their hopes on a self-made online career and what help and education is needed to help them to realise their hopes.

The writer of the piece below identifies themselves as a recent high school graduate who is entering college. They have hopes of using online platforms to pursue a career, motivated, at least partly, by their social anxiety and expectation that they will struggle to hold down a traditional job.

“Since I was 9, the idea of being a YouTuber or streamer was incredibly appealing. I could do what I loved, and still make a living. I didn’t ever have to show my face, just talk and be funny. I didn’t even have to be a YouTuber or anything—I just wanted to do something. I wanted to make an impact.

Over the years, I tried to launch my channel and a few other assorted channels or social media accounts to no avail. I hopped around 2-3 pseudonyms, recorded videos of what I loved on my potato computer, and tried to maintain a social media presence. I explored various avenues, from simple browser gaming to Minecraft skin creation to Minecraft itself. The furthest I ever managed to get was 600+ subscribers on Planet Minecraft. But the bottom line was, I was getting nowhere.”

To read the full piece, check the blog link below.

For Your Entertainment — OurThreeSeas

Making a difference in the workplace

Fern leaf sporangia (Pixabay – Creative Commons)

The account below, first published by by Robin Williams, on her site, Green Fern Coven, provides an example of how one can make a difference in the workplace and society despite relatively limited power or influence, especially, by reaching out to others. It also shows that resistance and reform can and, perhaps, must, occur from within and without, to change institutions. Whilst the wider impact of one’s activism might be hard to measure and may feel small or insignificant, the sense of promoting one’s personal values can be greatly empowering and meaningful and, ultimately, essential for healthy wellbeing and development.

I Work for a Church – But I’m a Queer Artist

Yes, you read the title correctly. I’m queer and work for a church. I’m well aware that there are some beautiful churches out there that do support and love us lgbt+ but the church I work for and grew up in, is not one of them. So then why do I work for them?

The short answer is: I have horrible social anxiety. I got my first job when I was nineteen years old, working as a social media coordinator, and it’s been a blessing. I rarely have to worry about people, only have to answer the phone if my co-worker is off or out, and I have the freedom to channel my inner creative to share with the world.

The long answer: I believe in changing the environment I grew up in.

I am not out to the congregation of my church. I’m not out to my pastor. Only my family is aware and I’m currently okay with that. But I still want to integrate my beliefs into my church, and as the social media coordinator, I can.

During Pride month, my first thing to post if I could, would be the Pride flag telling the community that love is love and all are welcome here. Unfortunately, I can’t do that. So instead I pulled verses from the Bible that spoke about love and kindness, and I pasted those words onto solid colour backgrounds. Each coloured background was in the order and shade of the Pride flag and has been scheduled to post through the entire month of June.

It’s no bold act, it’s subtle, but it’s enough for me to feel like I’ve done something. The church doesn’t realize that their social media posts line up as the flag. They don’t know that each week when I make them a playlist of Christian songs, I go out of my way to find an artist who supports the lgbt+, who may even be part of the community themselves. They don’t know that their prayer card readings are formatted the same way my Tarot card pulls are.

And they don’t have to. Anyone looking will know. Anyone who cares enough will know. And if they want to reach out, by reading the list of staff in our office, they’ll see my name and next to that bold text, the words Alphabet Mafia.

And they’ll know that I am their safe space, here, in a place where they will be condemned by the people they grew up around. I work for this church because I know that there is someone else just like me, trying to find comfort and love in the place that preaches it, but doesn’t practice it.

by Robin Williams, Green Fern Coven, June 28 2001.