Bravery or Courage to Share

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Rather than asking yourself the question, “How brave am I?” Take on a different perspective and ask, “How courageous am I?”

What is the difference, you might ask, between being brave and being courageous? After discussing with roommates what the difference is, I have come to the conclusion that bravery is not being afraid of fear, whereas courage is having the personal power of overcoming fear to achieve something assumed to be impossible. Charlene Li says to have courage means to be afraid, still move forward to the edge, and jump. Courage is taking that leap without knowing what lies ahead or what other people will say – the power of overcoming fear.

Having the power to share a story takes both bravery and courage. I found out by sharing my story. I debated numerous times and asked those close to me if I should write about my coming out. Even though they all said I should, I still didn’t have the courage to do so – I hesitated, was fearful. But, I did and am proud to say I did. I took a risk, a risk of knowing that my story will no longer by a private part of my life. Not many people know about my blog, but once you put something on the internet, it’s there forever.

In America, it’s the user’s choice

In the new digital age, privacy has been of huge concern to millions around the world. Flickr, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook are all banned in China. Flickr, YouTube, and Facebook are banned in Iran. YouTube and Wordrpress are banned in Brazil. Twitter and Facebook are banned in the United Kingdom (to see what’s banned in other countries, click here). Why? Is privacy the issue? Is it because there is no freedom of speech? These countries do not give their citizens the right to speak positively or negatively about governmental organizations, directors, leaders, or presidents on the World Wide Web. Social media is not an option.

What is the purpose of using social media? I believe we use social media to connect, to make ideas, thoughts, photos, and other aspects of life public. We use social media to inspire others, face fears, and develop change. We choose to not be private. Either way, whether you agree or not, the simple truth is that privacy is not possible, especially in America where people have the right to free speech.

Here in America, the choice is ours and when it comes to using social media, the user has the choice of what will be turned from private to public. We can choose to use filters, choose to post what we want people to know. There are both benefits and consequences to this issue of privacy and user’s making courageous choices to share their stories.

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~ by laurenjmsw on February 10, 2013.

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