Being ‘Real’ in an Online World!

online worldThere’s been a lot of talk recently about how people portray themselves in the online world.  The word I keep hearing come up is ‘authenticity’.  So today I thought I’d talk about my opinion and what online authenticity means to me.

I almost want to shake young people and beg them to realise that the perfect girl on Instagram is not showing every aspect of her life too us.  That life isn’t as easy as some people portray it to be… some people are just really, really good at showing us the good bits of their lives.  It’s easy to look flawless with a few dozen filters and to portray the perfect instagrammable home when you’ve pushed all your other possessions to the other side of the room.  It’s not my place to say how people should or should not use their own instagram feeds, I can tell you, the struggle to achieve even half of what some people do is very real.

I can’t.. no I mean it, I physically can’t… I don’t have an amazing figure or a great tan, or different clothes to parade about in every week.  I don’t have perfect background dotted around my home and I don’t like spiced pumpkin lattes from Starbucks.  I guess I could do all this… but it isn’t me.  I don’t want it to be.  Don’t get me wrong, I love following people who do or have all of the above.  

I want my readers/viewer to be able to recognise me if they ran into me in the middle of the street.  I want them to be able to strike up a conversation with me about something I’ve said and for them to know it is my opinion and true and real and that I haven’t said it to gain more followers.  I think you can still make money from blogging and youtube while having his mentality although even I’ll admit I wouldn’t blame anybody who though the lines had become too blurred.

For me, I love weekly vlogging and I love showing you lots of elements in my life… especially the best bits – because let’s face it, those are usually the most exciting or the things we’re proud of.  Of course there are things that are held back – me bleaching my toilet for instance – the mundane.  There’s also the serious life stuff like relationships.  But I know I’m still being true to myself because it’s not like I’m pretending they don’t happen at all.

It doesn’t make me any less authentic – it just means I’m not particularly keen in sharing that moment with the rest of the world.  Just because somebody puts themselves out there on the internet does not mean that it’s a free for all on their life offline.  I share what I feel comfortable sharing and nothing more.  Some days that’s a picture of my face… other days it’t just of my dinner.

The question I ask myself and challenge other bloggers to ask themselves too is ‘if money and making a living were no factor, would I be genuinely happy with how I portray myself online?’  For me, if the answer is ever no then something must change.  I’d hate for my life to be a lie and to not recognise who I am – I’ve realised in my twenty six years that no amount of money or likes is a substitute for real, genuine happiness.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that this is me, the real me – yes sometimes you only see the good bits, but the bad bits are acknowledged and they are there.  And that is why I’m proud of my portrayal and have every confidence that online my life is just as authentic as it is offline.