Do not be afraid

Why it’s beneficial to share your projects and reach out to others for feedback

Gavin Hung, Staff Writer

During our freshman year, junior Bhuvan Balagar and I had the idea of creating a podcast that broke down new technological advancements in a conversational manner. We spent a large portion of the summer meeting with each other and later launched the Gen Z Times Podcast in August of 2019. It was very enjoyable to research a topic and talk about it with a good friend.

As our collection of episodes grew, we wanted to expand our audience by reaching out to friends and family members. However, as I prepared to send the messages, I found myself contemplating whether or not to send them. Instead of the large list of people I had in mind, I ended up only sending the podcast to my family and closest friends. 

Looking back, I struggled to send the messages because I worried that their responses would be negative or they would judge me. I assumed their opinions about me were going to change. I was afraid of showing others what I had spent a lot of time on. I believe that this feeling is shared among other people, especially in a competitive environment like MVHS, where people are constantly trying to one-up each other. 

As I received responses from the people I messaged, I realized that almost all of them were congratulating Bhuvan and I and giving us valuable feedback. My assumption that people would judge my project turned out to be completely false. Instead, I was able to use the feedback to improve later episodes, and I learned that feedback is integral to any project because it allows a new set of eyes to look at your work and give recommendations.

For example, I am part of a team that created a new short film streaming service called Lumière Shorts and we wanted feedback on our website and apps. In addition to showing the platform to our friends and family, we decided to cold direct message people on Instagram to get their opinions as well. 

Despite the fact that we were now asking complete strangers instead of people we already knew, we ended up getting good results. We received long and detailed messages about features that people liked and disliked. In addition, the respondents were very open to answer any of our follow-up questions, which allowed us to create dialogue and get to know the audience better.

It is easy to hide your projects and experiences in fear of people judging you or developing a negative opinion about you. You must overcome your fear of judgment and internal monologue that automatically assumes the worst-case scenario. Even if you get occasional judgment, you must know the net effects certainly outweigh it. I have realized that the world is not that grim and people are open to help and give feedback. The only way to truly improve your project is to gain feedback. Thus, I encourage you to openly showcase your work and experiences.