“You don’t need to exorcise your personal demons onstage.”–Jimmy Kimmel
When blogging, vlogging, or hosting podcasts, there is a fine line between citing one’s own life experiences and providing too much information (TMI). I mention this because another one of my favorite YouTube vloggers has gone down the TMI rabbit hole. He has been vlogging about his life events and his relationship with his boyfriend for the past few years. Many of his past videos have skirted the boundary between sharing a personal glimpse at his life and TMI. Lately, his videos have taken a turn towards cringy TMI. It seems as if he has become yet another vlogger who has fallen into the trap of using his audience as therapists. He is using many of his videos to “exorcise” his personal demons. I feel sorry for him but I refuse to be an emotional voyeur, so I don’t watch his videos as frequently any longer. He really should be consulting a licensed mental health professional and maintain a healthy boundary between himself and the complete strangers who comprise his audience.
Many us writers and producers use personal experiences and problems as fuel for our work. This can be both beneficial to the creator and to the readers and listeners of our material. We create content so as to help orient ourselves and highlight our sometimes confused lives. There is a measure of good versus bad. This can be done in a general manner without feeling the need to reveal intimate, minute details of one’s life and relationships. One’s intimate relations do not need to be broadcast for all the world to hear. Even though the Internet is a free-flowing conduit of all sorts of information, using discernment and better judgment about how much of one’s personal life is important. As a seasoned YouTube viewer and podcast listener, this is only my opinion.
We all have some demons who lurk within the dark recesses of our minds. It’s healthy to confront them privately through contemplation, by sharing them with a trusted friend, or a licensed mental health professional. It’s good to get them out in the open to a mental space where one can gain better understanding and perspectives. Generally speaking, in order to get a grasp on one’s personal demons, it’s wise to discipline the mind. This can be accomplished through accredited “twelve step” programs, therapy, mindfulness meditation, or some type of regular physical activity. In order to establish a measure of control over our demons, it’s important to be watchful about our moods. When we strive towards mindful, balanced attitudes it is more difficult for the demons to take control of our lives.
“It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell.”–Shakyamuni Buddha
We need not label ourselves as dark, demented, twisted persons. Everyone who has existed on Earth has had to deal with inner demons of some type. In my experience, dealing with them head-on and with inner strength has allowed them to be visible. When I can see and feel them, it’s easier to confront and “exorcise” them. Creativity has been one of the tools to use in the process.
My personal philosophy allows that generally speaking, people are doing their best in order to cope and live in this world. Even when people screw up and harm others, there is a reason (not an excuse). During my quiet times, I can understand why we humans make mistakes. We have ghosts from our past, we have personal flaws, we have our personal demons. We also possess strengths, have developed skills, and can plan strategies to overcome the effects that hinder us while we live out our lives.
If we objectively observe people, we will notice that the majority are doing their honest best to live good lives. Most have accepted their demons, found reasonably healthy coping mechanisms, and continue to move forward in their lives. As a rule, people generally discover, learn, change, and grow. It’s all about process. This is why I have not lost faith in humanity.
The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes guitarist and songwriter, Carlos Santana. “I knuckle down with my demons, and with my weaknesses.”