I'm a little bit embarrassed to admit that I went sort of wacko this week.
You see, I am a grown 41-year-old woman and I know who I am now. Well, at least I know myself well enough to post what I want to post on social media and be as authentic as possible. I pride myself on being creative and unique, and I am simply being 100% me. I write these personal blogs about exactly how I'm feeling. I post photos and videos of my family and hobbies. I share my dances and workouts knowing that I am far from being the "best" and I am in no way posting anything simply to "show off," but I genuinely love working out and want to spread that love to others.
Everything I do begins with an intention.
I post on social media to either share inspiration, humor, hope, positivity, or connection. And... most of the time, people relate to me, or are kind and encouraging.
When this quarantine period began 2 months ago, everyone kept telling me to join TikTok because it has music and dancing. So I looked into it and decided that it might be a good way to promote Stop Drop And Dance. Well, it has been really great exposure and I am actually loving it. Oh, for those of you who don't know, TikTok is basically a 15 second long video where you pick a song and either dance to it or make movements that match the beats and lyrics.
For a dance choreographer like me... TikTok is basically speaking my language.
Last week, my friends James and Bao, posted their wedding video to celebrate their 10th anniversary. In it was a short clip of James' groomsmen making him do pushups to eat a grape off a plate. Well, I loved that. And so I looked in my pantry and found gummy bears. Actually, I found Sour Patch Kids first but... those were too sour. To the 15-second soundtrack of "The Gummy Bear Song," I did 15 pushups and ate a gummy bear each second. I know, wacko, I told you right? It took several tries - to get the gummy bears to stand up, to figure out I needed to lay them on a plate versus a napkin, to pushup fast enough, to aim my mouth, to not choke the more gummy bears I put in my mouth - I mean, you can imagine. But I was determined. So I found the solution: the only way I could pushup fast enough and aim my mouth 15 times was to go into a wide push-up (wide arms and wide legs for stability). Not perfect pushups, but I got all 15 gummy bears!
This ridiculous video turned out to be my #1 video on TikTok. Currently over 300,000 views (not a big deal on TikTok, but for me it is!). And 99% of the comments are hilarious and funny.
But then one tween comments, "That ain't a push-up." And soon enough, other tweens "like" that comment and start writing their own. "You don't know how to push-up." "GAWD. What kind of push-up is that?" "That is not correct. Your arms and legs are too far apart." I even got... "Wash your hair." Probably one hundred comments like that poured in, all from young kids.
Wash your hair??? OMG.
Here's the Mama Bear thing. You see, I actually don't care. It doesn't sting me because, I know they're just kids and I won't change what I post or share because of that. However, I immediately think of my young girls. And I think of the day that they get phones, and are tweens themselves, then decide to post something on social media... and get bombarded with criticism? Or just plain mean comments??? Hmm... knowing my girls, my older one would never post anything again, and my younger one would cry hysterically and be crushed.
There is a major problem with the younger generation growing up behind a screen. They have a false sense of "courage" to say things they would NOT say to their friends, to an adult, to another person to their face. All sense of respect or politeness or manners, are gone. For most people, if we don't like someone's content, we move on. But for kids, it starts with one kid saying something, and then the others hop on the bandwagon and just copy. Copy without thinking. Copy without care.
Well, a week goes by, and I got tired of it.
First, I had a talk with my girls and showed them all the comments I was receiving. I told them this is real life, and real life is not always kind. What's most important is knowing who YOU are and being that. NOT for others' approval.
Then, I made a 15-second counter-video on TikTok addressed to those hundred kids, educating them on 10 different types of push-ups (including a "wide push-up" that I did on the Gummy Bear video), and reminding them to choose kindness. Some of the good kids apologized. Most didn't. That's ok, I know they got the point.
Wacko? No, Mama Bear.
Happy Mother's Day!