The #QUTCurlew: A Personal Reflection

Who knew a bird staring at its own reflection would generate so much buzz? It was the craziest weekend of my life. My phone couldn’t stop alerting me to curlew-related stuff, and I had friends congratulating me on my cameo on a BBC News article about this. However, lessons can be learned from this experience.

It made me realise that I don’t like it when I’m in the spotlight. The great thing about being a journalist is while you’re always in the public eye, you relatively live a normal life. I recognise that this boosted my media profile, and would be a foot in the door for any media career. However, I love to write about the news, but hate being the news. I was overwhelmed with what was happening, and I got caught up in the emotion. I’ve never been in this situation before. It was surreal. My anxiety rose. I didn’t know what was happening. Yes, it wasn’t a totally global viral sensation like other things, but the scale was something I didn’t imagine it would be. It’s only around now that things have finally settled down and I can move on with my life.

This page wasn’t actually my idea. My friend Naveen actually had the idea of creating the page, but because I’m page administrator, I took all the credit. Do I feel bad for that? Yes, I do. This was a team effort. Naveen had the idea, and Jorja came up with the name. I just ran the page. But yet, I take all the credit? It doesn’t seem fair? Even with my interview with the BBC, I emphasised that this was not my idea. However, I still got the credit. In addition, it wasn’t the Facebook page that popularised the curlew. It was a Twitter post that ABC journalist Nick Wiggins posted, that was re-tweeted thousands of times.

On a side note, partially in response to the media buzz, it’s key that people do take mental health breaks. It’s what I’m trying to do every Friday now – where I relax and not worry about my media commitments, work and uni. Someone also pointed out to me that I overshare on social media. It’s true. I never considered myself to be a narcissist but clearly I am. The bird is a metaphor for who I was on social media. The curlew craze pushed my oversharing habit to the max. I was making memes a lot, cross posting it on my personal page, and for a few days all my Twitter feed was about, was the curlew. That’s on top of my typical oversharing statuses of every single bit of my life. That’s not a good habit to have. I’ve fallen into the trap of putting on a facade for social media, only to be a completely different person offline. I’m now striving to not share as much on Facebook about every minute aspect of my life. You guys really don’t care about most of it anyway, so why should I post it?

I’ve learned several lessons from this experience. Anything to make me a better person is great.

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