What does it mean to be authentic?
In the Golden Age of influencer marketing, does the word “authentic” really mean anything to us millennials anymore? Aren’t we all curating our social media content just to be featured on larger community accounts to receive validation from strangers on the internet? These so-called virtual communities? (Hello, #socality?) Aren’t we all just doing the most to make our lives seem more glamorous than they really are? To increase our following, clout, influence? For the lucky ones, it even launches bank account digits in an upwards trajectory faster than you can say “IG model selling Fit Tea”!
It’s hard not to be sucked into this rabbit hole of oversharing. Hey, it’s not your fault you were born a digital native! After all, the internet connects us to family abroad we haven’t seen in years. To those who share our same interests or same struggles in life. Perhaps even our future wives or husbands.
We want more likes. More followers. More engagement. More, more. more!
But in the end, are we truly making genuine connections with others if our online personas aren’t an accurate reflection of who we are?
I had discussed this concept of “authenticity” and “being genuine” in the digital world with my friend Greg at Opa! Club a few days ago. (I know, right? Out of all the places to have such a conversation! Apparently nightclubs are one of the best places to have a heart-to-heart these days.) He gave me advice on how I should maintain the style and voice of my blog posts, and to never sell out or switch up for the sake of more hits or views. He reassured me that my primary objective – when it comes to blogging, at least – isn’t to be popular. It’s about shamelessly sharing my thoughts, experiences, and opinions. In the end, what is authentic – truly authentic – is what will become popular in the long run.
Ryan Gill, author of FIX, puts it this way:
If you’re your authentic self, then you will have no competition.
If you’re a fellow creative sharing your work online, it can be disheartening at times to think that your work isn’t good enough because you’re not popular. There may be a ton of photographers out there, but nobody sees the world quite like you do. There may be a ton of travel bloggers out there, but no two people will ever tell the same story of the same city. There may be a ton of fashion YouTubers out there, but no-one will ever have your personal style.
Be patient, be consistent. Be authentic, be you.
That’s it, thanks for reading! To check out more of my #MondayMusings, read Genuine Support + Introducing #MondayMusings!