The year is coming a close, and so is my participation on the #365FeministSelfie project. It was a real experiment for me, but one I found to be truly rewarding. Here’s what I learned over the past year, and here’s a taste of what’s on the horizon for 2015.
What’s in a Smile?
I joined the #365feministselfie project out of curiosity, but mostly because I had wanted to up my game in social media and this seemed like a quick way to do it. A daily photo seemed like fun, and so easy to do! (Granted, I wasn’t completely keen on it being of ME every day, but I got past that.)
And it really was fun and simple! I wasn’t 100% on it every single day, but I tried not to miss two days in a row. The benefits I gained by putting my face out there on social media, nearly every day amaze me still. I’ve had complete strangers come up to me at the library and say “I’m following you on Twitter – keep it up, I find you very inspiring!” And friends, especially those who live far away, tell me how much they’ve enjoyed the pictures and how they look for them every day.
How cool is that? You’d be hard-pressed to buy that kind of exposure.
What a Selfie Can Do For You – Personally AND Professionally
I also love how, looking back over the images to create my year-end montage, I get a really easy, clear snapshot of my year. Sure, it’s mostly highlights, or a lot of me just sitting in my favourite comfy chair, but that is what real life is like, right?
As for gains in business… Since I work from home and I almost never get the chance to meet my clients in person, this project has really helped me gain an edge. When someone considers working with me, they can get a real feel for who I am as a person simply by following me on Facebook or Instagram – that’s hard to do virtually, especially if, like me, you’re not completely in your element on social media.
I recall an interesting observation I made a couple years ago, when I was weeding my email newsletter subscriptions. I felt I had more of a connection with the sender when they included their face in the email header. There’s just something about looking in someone’s eyes, even if they’re not actually looking back at you.
As the year has been drawing closer to the end, people have been asking “what’s next?” I’ve been wondering the same thing…
What’s in store for 2015?
I realized what was missing for me from this project was a ‘raison d’etre’ – reason for doing it, or a topic, that I could relate to. Sure the hashtag was ‘Feminist’ and ‘Selfie’, but I found myself defending my use of the word feminist a lot. And as much as the whole point of the project was to dispel the myth that all selfie-takers are narcissistic, it started to feel a bit, well, narcissistic… So, I’ve decided for my next 365 project (yes, I’m doing it again!), I’m going to stay simple, but with a topic more dear to me – “what makes me smile.”
This past year I had a big birthday – #40. My parents gave me a charm necklace personalized with charms that reflect what I love. For the backplate of the locket I chose a simple gold disk with “laugh” etched on it. For anyone that has known me – especially the younger, more carefree (ie. before kids) version of me – knows I’ve always loved to smile and laugh.
So, I’ve decided I’m going to take daily photos (and maybe short videos) of things that make me laugh. It’ll be a bit like a gratitude project, and sometimes it may be as simple as a cartoon shared on Facebook. The responsibilities of life can almost feel like too much at times, so this is going to help me – and hopefully you and others following along – to bring a bit more joy and laughter into each day.
Are you feeling called to celebrate your life each day? I’d love to have you participate with me. Join in by capturing images and videos from your life and then sharing them on your favorite social media platforms using the hashtag #Laughter365.