Let's Be More Authentic

With the advent of Social Media, a new perspective of self developed. We began with this idea that we can become who ever we wanted to be and be whoever we wanted to be because our true selves were hiding behind the screen. And more and more, we began to edit our statuses, put the perfect filter on our pictures, use "thoughtful quotes" to sub tweet what we were really feeling, take the video in the best possible lighting, etc etc etc. All of a sudden the delete button, or edit button, became our number one tool to make us look the best in the best light. Social Media at some point and in some instances has become a digital mask of who we really are. 

I've been really challenged by this thinking lately after an amazing conversation I had with a family friend, Kate Peterson. She had taken some issues with some of the things I had been posting on Facebook and wrote me about them. Here is something she said that has stuck with me:

The areas are rhetorical styling, your personal worldview, and how this impacts the people you lead. Rhetorically, you and the rest of the internet are really really fond of second person commands (this is the you-ness of things, your spouse, your goals). It’s immediately personal and very useful to generate engagement. I totally see that. But it’s also a distancing language, the onus is on the reader to evaluate themselves rather than you offering a longer read (via your relaunched website?) into why you think this way, what the background is, who you’re reading, what happened. So what I want to say is: you offer intriguing hooks, and I want to know more. But I wonder: are you afraid of sharing some real parts of yourself with us? (which is legit, vulnerability is scary-tough).

She was right, in order to build engagement, I had removed the ME in my statuses. I hated that. I hated running into this. I love being authentic and to have someone call me out on the potential of not being authentic hurt deeply. I ended up using her thoughts as a rubric for my updates now. I don't get nearly the same engagement that I used to but I feel much better about putting out my true self. 

Take a look at this video to see what I mean.

Facebook can be depressing because everyone else's lives are better than yours... But are they really? 

What is your true self?

Meiko Seymour1 Comment