The Mask of Authenticity

​If there's one thing that irks me most these days, it's when people touted as being "so authentic" have IG feeds filled with posed professional photos of themselves saying some crap about life.


The best one yet was one such photo - okay, it was a selfie - but it was of this person CRYING.


I think you can be both authentic and keep some things hidden (maybe that's what healthy boundaries are).

​As if that wasn't bad/disturbing enough (as if you think "oh I better capture these tears, so I can share with my thousands of followers how I have emotions too"), but when I read the comments, everyone was overwhelmed by their authenticity and "realness".


Can I stop for a second and just say once and for all, they might truly think what they're doing is real, but to me it comes off more as authentic narcissism.


I'm not saying that a certain level of realness isn't possible, but when you see a photo someone took of themselves while they were crying... you have to stop and think, right?


I just can't take that sort of thing seriously. ​


Come to think of it, I cringe at some things I've posted over the years. I can admit that you start to think of yourself as more important than you actually are. You begin to NEED the likes and comments telling you how great you are. And even though it's exhausting, it's also something very hard to turn away from.


It's nice to be praised, but if you want to remain true to yourself, you can't let either negative or positive reactions sway your feelings about yourself/live/significance. While this might not be an issue for some people, I'm pretty sure it gets through the cracks of most.


While I'm annoyed about what that person posted and what people said, I am equally annoyed that I have swung in the total opposite direction, and for a long time I couldn't bring myself to post anything much. I'd convinced myself to "shut up" because "nobody cares what I have to say". And that's not healthy, either. 

Being online and having followers really can warp your sense of reality. I remember, for a very long time, feeling this pressure to keep posting things because I imagined somehow my followers were just waiting around for my content. LOL. It's silly to think about that now, but I really did feel trapped by my own perception of how people perceived me.


It's almost impossible to be totally authentic, and maybe the problem for me (and why those kinds of posts bug me so much) is because I hold authenticity to such a high standard. It's "all or nothing", either you're 100% real 100% of the time, or you're 100% fake. I even judge myself this harshly.


All that being said, this person will forever irk me, simply because I know behind the scenes they are anything but the things they tout to their faithful flock.


Maybe what bugs me is that people like them seem to do so well in online business and popularity. Maybe I'm annoyed that I can't go to the lengths they do to get a reaction and be noticed.


Who knows.


But I wanted to write this stream of thought just to say that falseness is everywhere, and worst of all is the kind covered in the mask of authenticity. There's a whole arm of marketing dedicated to appearing "just like a normal person" to build trust. It makes it really hard to trust anyone.


I'm trying to think of a suitable lesson to sum all this up.....


But maybe a question is better.... Okay, two questions:


1. What is one of the biggest turn-offs in the online world we live in? Like how the crying photos was like the final straw for me.


2. How do you discern genuine realness from fake realness? Does that even matter to you, like it does to me? (yes, that's 3 questions now). Like, I know nobody can be 100% real all the time, but trustworthiness matters so much to me that I find myself researching people to see if they really are the kind of people they claim to be (especially if I'm considering buying from them). Do you also do this? (okay, okay, 4 >.< )


  • December 23, 2019

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