Going Viral: I Have No Idea What I'm Doing
Hi! Hello! Mabuhay! If you have been here for some time, welcome back! If you are new around here, come on in for this loko ride. You can read a bit more about A Momma Abroad here. Over the last few weeks, by a bizarre turn of events, I had an article go viral which then caused my social media and blog audience to jump significantly, which is how I imagine many of you got to reading AMA today. Salamat po for your readership!
My focus for AMA is to look for and cultivate the positivity while living in my adopted country, the Pilipinas. Usually these posts entail funny anecdotes about food, books, travel and life experiences. You can read other, 'I Have No Idea What I'm Doing' articles here. Having an article go viral was honestly greatly unexpected and one of the most surreal experiences of my life. It felt like emotional whiplash. I wanted to run and hide and at the same time hug everyone for their kindness and encouragement. I wanted people to know my intentions and who I am as a person but still shield myself and family from too much attention. But in the age of the internet, you don't get many choices except in how you react.
Here are 3 Lessons I Learned About Going Viral:
1. People will always think you are greater than who you are AND worse than who you are. Thank you to a wise friend, Daphne, who shared this wisdom at the height of the articles attention. I am just a regular person but the internet paints a facade and we esteem people to the highest and lowest pedestals. We take a few words and all the sudden we 'know' these individuals and their intentions. There is only one way off a pedestal and that is down down down. So, please know that I am a regular person who yells, breaths, cries, farts, poops and pees. I spend most of my day wiping butts and trying to please small children while sneaking in a few moments to play a board-game with my awesomely nerdy husband, to write a post or be creative with my hands. After this experience, I will lend the same courtesy to other individuals whose articles and media I consume, they are human beings not just words. We all deserve respect.
2. Freaking edit your writing. It was only a week prior to, 'My Sons Are Filipinos Because Life in the Philippines Is All They Know' article, was released that Leah of Smart Parenting had even reached out to me. I had a deadline to meet so at 10:30 pm I emptied some thoughts that had been swirling around my head for years. I had no intention of the article getting the attention it did but in the end I think that is for the better. I thought the article would be buried towards the back of a print magazine when instead it ended up on Smart Parenting's website and FB page. From there it went wild in a matter of minutes. Had I known, I would have edited my writing to sound a bit more clean.
3. Critical Comments Create Growth. Overall the feedback of the article was a net positive with a very small amount of criticism. I didn't ask for the attention and as mentioned earlier I had zero idea of the amount it would receive so when negative comments came I tried really hard to be introspective and respectful, even if the comments weren't. Not everybody is going to love me or love what I do and that is ok. I don't love everybody and I don't love what everybody does. When reading the more critical comments I tried to look at the heart of the message and be introspective. There is always something to learn. At the end of the day, my integrity is intact and I feel confident in the community I take part in, the messages I share and the content I create. Critical comments are hard to read but they often create the most growth.
Just a regular dork over here.
I want to express my sincerest gratitude to Smart Parenting for the opportunity and all those who took the time to read the article. Maraming maraming salamat po for all of you who support me and appreciate my perspective. Salamat po to those who questioned me or were critical, I appreciate your perspective. You don't need me to tell you how awesome your country is, you already know that. But I do appreciate that you let me love it in my own way. SO, MABUHAY KA and cheers to more adventures.