Meet the woman who is challenging social media to go unfiltered.
For quite some time I've been seeing the negative impact of social media. Online bullying. Negative assumptions based on people's Instagram profiles. But worst, I see a fakeness in people. A false presentation of self over social media.This is disturbing when it's your friends projecting some shiny image of themselves into the world, but it's absolutely heartbreaking when it's a kid.
A couple of weeks ago I saw my friend Nicole, a DJ for KROQ, post a list of things on Facebook that weren't necessarily “cool,” but were personal facts. She took her cue from Tyler Glenn of the Neon Trees, who had done the same. Wanting to jump on the bandwagon but not really up for airing my dirty laundry on Facebook, this sparked an idea on how to reach out. What if we could create one central venue for people to be able to be more honest via social media? From there I approached the amazing, genuine, open Nicole to collaborate, and she was on board. We bounced ideas back and forth. It all happened so fast. We first met a week and half ago to discuss it, and launched last Thursday afternoon.
Our vision is this: We are encouraging people to be their authentic selves. We are uniting in the fact that WE ARE ALL UNCOOL. We want to celebrate our differences—to make social media presence more genuine, realistic, and unfiltered—to be exactly who we are.
The concept is simple. We ask you to take a photo of yourself and list three things that make you “not cool,” that you would not normally put out into the digital universe. Anything from a guilty pleasure to a personal insecurity— anything you are willing to share that shows others you are proud to be exactly who you are. Then we ask you to post your photo and list, using the hashtag #wearealluncool.
This hashtag is an ironic play on words. The reality is, we are all cool, and none of us are cool. It's such a made up concept. Self worth does not need to be proved. None of us really needs social armor that's so self-possessed and so certain, and possibly so mistaken. Self worth celebrates the beauty and reality of fallible human beings, of life, of spontaneity. This is why Nicole and I want to unite a critical mass of people being who they are.
To get the ball rolling we began with the community we personally knew. We reached out to our friends in the music business and the arts and to our followers on social media Our goal now is to reach to all walks of life and all ages. We would like the movement to be global.
We are pretty surprised by how quickly We Are All Uncool has taken off, and are now taking it where it wants to go. It now has a life of its own. On Instagram people often post because of things they share—age, music, school. But now we are witnessing people connecting on a whole new level—over deep issues such as insecurities, fears, guilty pleasures. It's amazing and inspiring to see.
You can see the project and read about it at www.wearealluncool.tumblr.com. You can also submit your own simply by logging in to Instagram and using the hashtag #wearealluncool (directions are on the tumblr).