After a ridiculous journey to DEF CON 29 that I need a therapy puppet to convey, I got to my hotel room. Putting the stress behind me, I was PUMPED to start. I did two “vlogs,” one in the airport and one right there in the hotel room. That is when I had the thought “This is going to suck.”
I have no want to share the “vlogs” because they are awkward and weird. Especially the one in the airport where I felt like everyone was judging me. Some weirdo shooting video of himself. I sat down on the hotel bed looking out on the Vegas strip, and the weight of DEF CON hit me. How am I going to do this?
It is one thing to shoot videos in my basement where I can turn off the camera, shoot another take, and edit out silly mistakes. It is another to do it in ONE take where people stop to watch.
I walked down to the conference floor on Wednesday, and a weird thing happened. “SILK?” I turned around, “You are Silk from the YouTube channel, right?” “Your videos rock and can’t wait for your DEF CON ones.” Two thoughts happened in rapid succession;
- An overwhelming sense of love for this random person who just made my day, legitimately, one of the coolest moments in my life. It is the first time a stranger recognized me for my tiny channel with a mask on - unexpectedly amazing!
- A sense of “Well… [email protected]#$… there is no backing out now.”
After a few videos, I started to relax and realized no one cared. It helped that Gourry continued to push me regardless of my feelings. Also, I got a ton of encouragement from people that recognized me, as I often say, my fragile ego needs all the help it can get. I overestimated how much other people even noticed me shooting video. While recording the “Tinfoil Hat” video, I hit my nirvana state and started having fun, smiling, joking, and letting my personality out… I wish it happened sooner at the beginning of the con.
As I sat down to write this email. I searched for a word to describe the feeling. Hilariously, I Googled “feeling of a spotlight on you” to discover somebody smarter than me already coined the term.
That feeling of “Oh, everyone is watching and noticing me doing this weird thing” is so common that Social psychologists have a name for it, the Spotlight effect
. It is the belief of being noticed more than you actually are. Like being the main character in a movie where everyone is going to notice any mistakes. HERE IS THE PROBLEM. Everyone is the main character in their own movie, and they more often than not are more worried about their own “spotlight.” In short, I had a realization at DEF CON that no one cares if I am an idiot.
So with that, embrace your weird and hack on,