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A Moving, Spiritual Experience

August 16, 2010

Creating a Kickstarter campaign has been bit of an emotional roller-coaster. I’ve been excited, happy, humbled, irritated, surprised, exasperated, and resolute. One of the thing I didn’t really expect in launching this campaign was the resulting inner struggle it would create. It has made me very introspective.

It has made me think deeply about friendships and the purpose of family. It has made think about how I have failed to appreciate others and how I often feel unappreciated. So many of the thoughts I’ve had I’m not really comfortable enough to post (because so many are irrational).

It’s made me think a lot about social media. Ever since I finally figured out how to use Facebook and Twitter, I have been excited about how those tools are wonderful connectors. I cherish the fact that I can stay connected to my California Friends, reconnect with friends from my school days, and make new friends – especially the wonderful artists who have aided me in creating The Starving Artist’s Diet by sharing their stories.

But I’ve also realized that social media can create a false sense of connection. One of the things that I have tried to do is physically connect with my “friends” and “followers”. I’ve adopted the mantra, “Making social media social.” What I have found is that my Facebook “friends” are not truly into connecting. My out of state friends get a pass, but my local friends really haven’t appeared interested in truly being social. They aren’t interested in truly connecting.

Why do I think this? I set up a thing call Facebook Friday Breakfast. I did it for five weeks in a row on Fridays from 6 a.m. till 8:30 a.m at an Einstein’s Bagel shop. Out of the five Fridays, one person showed up once.  Sure, 6 a.m. is early, but in the past I’ve had friends willing to get up a little earlier to catch up, share a word of encouragement, or just get a good bagel and coffee.

I’m not giving up on social media. I still love to scan my friends comments on Facebook and keep up with everyone’s activities. I still love to share a humorous thought or some helpful business related information. But this is also why I tend to enjoy Twitter more. Twitter has allowed me to develop new friends. The people on Twitter actually want to meet up and socialize. They want to connect for both personal and business reasons. Twitter takes a little longer to get rolling, but isn’t that the way with most good things in life?

As for my Kickstarter campaign, I’m not sure how I’ll feel about it at the end of the forty days. I started it by telling myself no one would be interested in pre-ordering my silly book (probably a self-defense mechanism), but I also told myself I wouldn’t know if I didn’t try. As of today, the campaign is at 5% funding. There’s a long way to go, but I kind of tell myself it might just happen. It’s funny how when I started putting the campaign together, I went through a list of my friends who might be willing to participate. With each name I told myself not to count on them and to lower my expectations.

Ultimately, I’ve been humbled and honored to see who has already pledged. The small gesture is deeply impacting. I have also begun to learn that I, personally, need to be more generous. I need to develop a more gracious, gentler heart. This is all to say that this has been a very moving, spiritual experience.

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4 Responses to A Moving, Spiritual Experience

  1. Dan Rutledge on August 20, 2010 at 5:08 am

    Been meaning to write. This was a great post… genuine and very insightful. One problem with today’s relationships is we keep taking more and more steps away from actual human interaction – aided by media. First there was the phone, which at least had interaction. Then email, where people would go back and forth notes. Then text… where you go back and forth in small abbreviated bites. Then blogs with straight one way communication. Now Facebook and twitter where you just throw meaningless comments out there about what you’re eating or whether you are tired or not… and people might read them or they might not and they never have any obligation to respond.

    I had a moment on a car drive the other day where I talked on the phone with an old friend from high school. In 60 minutes, he bared his soul, talked about spiritual struggles with his kids, family challenges, issues of faith – I interacted and connected more in those 60 minutes than in all the months of social media posts combined. It was incredibly refreshing.

    I think still think social media is very interesting and has phenomenal power for some things. But I think we’re over-selling it a bit if we think it is genuine relationship building.

    Anyway. Great post. Hope the book launch goes well. Thanks for all your kind retweets and and posts in the last week or so. Much appreciated.

  2. Kate Townley Smith on August 22, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    Hey there, this post really resonated with me. I just started my own Kickstarter project (how I found your blog) and I’ve been having a lot of similar thoughts. It’s always very revealing which family members and friends support your projects. And which projects they support!

    As far as social media, sometimes it’s a good way to break the ice with a long lost buddy or new friend, but I think you still have to reach out in person. Keep up with your meet-ups maybe change up the time! It’s a cool idea. (happy hour, perhaps?)

  3. Jackodile on August 22, 2010 at 11:26 pm

    Thanks for contributing, Dan.

  4. Jackodile on August 22, 2010 at 11:41 pm

    Kate: Thank you for your feedback. I’m glad to see that you are having success with your Kickstarter campaign.

    I’ve contemplated happy hour, but at this point that time of day is when I’m itching to get back home to my wife and kids. I’ll definitely do facebook friday breakfast again and maybe I’ll try a lunch. Best part is that I get a lot of work done when no one shows up.

    Thanks again, and best wishes!

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