Father John Misty Syndrome

I've noticed this phenomenon, and I'm calling it Father John Misty Syndrome. In the next few paragraphs, I'm going to try to explain it (without going down this existential hole like I tend to do).

FJM Syndrome is a byproduct of a generation who is hyper-aware of the online versions of ourselves under constant curation. Because of this hyper-awareness, we post everything with an annoying reservation, a trite post-script that always seems to say, in so many words, "ha ha don't worry I'm also in on the joke of my life." It's self-deprecation, to the extreme.

I know for me at least, it's a self-defense mechanism. I want to connect with others because I am a human and humans are social animals. But connecting with others puts me in an inherently vulnerable place. So I dress up genuine attempts at connection with this filter of "Nah just joking LOL." 

For a long while, I was convinced I needed to rinse my hands of the entire social media monster. It was fueling a lot of my self-loathing. I couldn't post anything without going back to it and thinking it was too fake/too obnoxious/too liberal etc. In addition, having a feed full of everyone trying to sound smart and cool was bumming me out.

I think the remedy is to cut out the self-deprecating bullshit and be more earnest (shoutout to my BFF, Kendra, who inspired this post). To be constantly self-deprecating (in an effort to belittle ourselves and/or be more "likeable") has an adverse affect where it keeps us from true connection. Slash makes us look like assholes.

If we were just honest-- really honest-- about our real feelings, that's powerful. Shared not just our "cute" flaws (I read romance novels! I cry at dog food commercials!) but our "not cute" ones too (I hold grudges until they consume me! One way I alleviate my anxiety is to pick at my skin!). 

What if we were just open about what we need and how we want to feel and let that be its own currency? Take it or leave it?

As I'm growing up, I'm trying to do less cool-kid posturing in favor of more authenticity. It's a young man's sport to try to seem cool all the time. And giving up on the Ultra Cool game is such a psychic drag lifted. When I get it right, I really don't care what others think. Their opinions just fall away. What a relief, to be uncool, and okay with it.