Just Keeping it Real
A Filtered RealityConversely, social media has also become a platform of filtered truths and “versions” of reality. It’s a controlled environment where we can edit our words, images and our lives before we share it with others. We all post or share what we want others to see about us – a representation – and not the full version of ourselves. Most often, we only choose to put forth what we believe are the “good” parts of our lives and our relationships.
As Glennon Doyle Melton describes in her book The Love Warrior, our “representative” is the part of us that we send out into the world on our behalf – the part of us that sticks to the script of what society wants to hear or expects us to be. It’s the part of us that looks, says and acts the way of a pulled-together human while keeping the secrets of our past, our deep longings, our thoughts and feelings safely tucked away.
Meanwhile, we continue to compare ourselves and our lives to everyone else’s and look on with envy. This behavior inevitably perpetuates the cycle of insecurity and self-doubt within ourselves.
So how do we stay authentic and keep it real on social media?
Forget PerfectAt our core we all just want to be seen, heard, accepted and valued. We try hard to fulfill these desires by being the person we think others want us to be. Nevertheless, the perfect filter, perfect selfie, or perfect post to showcase our perfect life will inevitably always leave us feeling empty and unfulfilled. Why? Because every “like”, comment or new follower we receive are not really validating us, but rather the version of ourselves we are choosing to portray. The truth is, being perfect will never fill the yearning we have for true connection and being loved for who we really are.
Trust YourselfLearning to trust yourself and your intuition can grow self-confidence to follow your own path. Our confidence builds when we stop comparing ourselves to others. So until you’ve mastered this art, it might be helpful to pause and ask yourself, what/who is this post serving and what is my motive? If your answer doesn’t ring true to your authentic self, then it might be best to ignore the urge to post. Remember, you are the author of your own story. Don’t allow others – or the comparison of others – to define you.
Be True to YOUNo one else has lived out your experiences, seen the world through your eyes, felt with your heart, or has the same passions and unique gifts as you do. Your story is beautiful – yes, flaws and all – and is worthy of sharing.
Being true to yourself does require a certain amount of vulnerability by getting real and honest, but the ultimate reward is authenticity. Don’t be a second-rate version of someone else when you can be the best, most awesome and unique version of YOU.
Connect, Encourage and Support OthersOnce we stop worrying about being perfect, start learning to get comfortable in our own skin, and stay true to our authentic selves, real connections with others will begin to come naturally. (And let’s be honest, those that judge you or don’t care to hear about your story aren’t worth having around anyway.)
More importantly, we need to stop looking on with envy or judging others for what they put out into the world. Without knowing someone’s full story, we’ll never know what chapter of life they’re on. Comparing ourselves to someone on chapter 10 while we’re still in the middle of chapter 2 benefits no one and can be very self destructive.
I know it might be hard to imagine, but social media can actually be seen in a positive light if we can come together to use it right. Sharing our truth will inevitably resonate with others and draw real, authentic connections.
When we take time to share the good parts of day or our story, we’re celebrating life and encouraging others to do so as well. And more often than not, when we share the hard and imperfect parts of our story, our testimony will resonate with someone else who is living out a similar experience – bringing further connection and support to others.
The ‘Just Keeping it Real’ Challenge
In honor of keeping things real, I’ve decided to launch a 7 day challenge to see if we can start to make a difference in the way we communicate and come together via social media. They only way we can begin to see change is by getting vulnerable and putting more of our true selves out into the universe.
Will you join me?
Starting today, I will post one new ‘Just Keeping it Real’ Challenge each day on the Patina Inspired Life Facebook and Instagram feeds. I simply ask that you show up and participate, have fun, and don’t over-think it! Maybe even tag a friend (or two) to join us!
All you need to do is upload a photo/response to your own Facebook or Instagram page (relevant to today’s ‘Just Keeping It Real’ Challenge) along with the hashtags #justkeepingitreal and #patinainspiredlife.
Yes friends, together we can make a difference.
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