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Home » Being Human in a Digital Age: Joel Comm at TEDxMileHigh (Full Transcript)

Being Human in a Digital Age: Joel Comm at TEDxMileHigh (Full Transcript)


I was 12 years old when my parents got divorced. It’s not an uncommon story, but like many kids I was left with a lot of pain, a lot of concern, a lot of loss. And not knowing how to deal with it, I did the best I could, and found healthy and unhealthy ways to manage it.

Of course, the unhealthy ways were pretty dysfunctional and that dysfunction led to a number of addictions in my life, and those addictions throughout the years have included workaholism, addiction to food, addiction to video games, addiction to drugs, addiction to pornography. And unfortunately, the dysfunction played forward into my relationships, and after 22 years of marriage, I contributed enough dysfunction to it that my wife left me. With all due respect to her, I take complete ownership for my failure in my half of the marriage, and then probably a good portion more. Had we had social media at the time, I don’t think this is something I would have shared publicly.

In fact, I’m certain I wouldn’t have, because there was great shame. There’s shame in the secrets we carry, and there’s power in the secrets. In fact, the power is found in keeping the secret in. So why do I share this with you? Because right now, this just got raw, this got vulnerable. If I weren’t clothed, I may as well be fully naked. You don’t have to picture it, it’s fine.

But there was a lot of shame, and it’s shame that we can all relate to. There’s a site out there called, and it’s a place where people can anonymously share their secrets and their pain without putting their name on it, by submitting postcards, some of them very beautifully done, and it gives them an opportunity to share their secrets. We hunger to be able to share.

[Where I work, I’m too lazy to walk to the bathroom so I pee in the kitchen sink]

I’ll let you see that one before I continue.

[I judge people based on how often the post useless crap on Facebook]

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