Safety is something that we can feel. We know when it is present and when it isn’t. We can feel when others feel safe too. Those around us share their safety. We project it when we talk with one another and we receive it as we hear words of vulnerability and need. In those moments of held emotion, when we know that we are with people who love us, we can’t help but feel safe. We can’t help but be ourselves and consistently reveal more about our understanding of the world. We are hopelessly fulfilled when we feel safe. We risk, and we find hope. We wrestle with big ideas and we don’t feel self-conscious about believing in one another.
Yet, how is this replicated online? How is it that we can ever be this vulnerable and courageous online? How will we look one another in the eye and know that our shared identity actually meshes and means something?
The reciprocity of emotion in an online space is hard to measure, yet it isn’t something that can be overlooked. We must come together in a place that makes us believe it is an extension of us. If we believe that we are a part of the space, we will work to make it safe. Our shared stories within the space will create a type of comfort that breeds progressively more personal stories, more reasons to engage.
This safe place is one that I would like to create. I would like to be a part of generating the energy within an environment that allows for people to be themselves. I would like to spark people to create this space on their own as well. We will know when we find it. We will know because it will be ours. It will be the thing that we all gravitate towards because it will be the one place that we don’t have to play any games, be sarcastic or complain about what we can’t do.
If we all see that it is possible, if we all know what we are looking for, let us pursue safety and uncertainty and passionate connection with one another. Just as I believe it matters to have these spaces in the physical world, I believe that it is just as valuable to create them within the “other” space that we all inhabit, the one that will increasingly influence our lives and livelihoods.