The Power of Authenticity


I would be the first person to admit that I am an extremely talkative person. As a child, I have been sent to the corner more times than I can count for never failing to out talk the teacher in any given situation. This pattern continued on until college where fortunately my desire to pass my subjects outweighed my incessant need to be heard.
That being said, I am always chattering on about something and the rise of social media has given me an even bigger platform to air my never ending thoughts and opinions on all things.  It was my persistent desire to share my opinion on absolutely any topic that jumpstarted my blog in 2004. I talked until no one listened and the birth of the internet (you mean all this internet space is just for me?!) has given me my own personal space that allowed me to voice my thoughts on just about anything.
Social media has been such a stable, consistent part of my life that even as I try to remember a time when I wouldn’t post what I was having for lunch or what I thought of the latest How to Get Away with Murder episode, I couldn’t. There used to be a time when I would only share my thoughts on both the relevant and irrelevant parts of my life to those closest to me (particularly my younger brother, Carl) but the rise of social media has given me an avenue to talk all the time. And for quite awhile there, boy did I talk – a lot.  The likes and retweets across all social media has also enabled my talkative nature. Suddenly, I was hypnotized by the likes that I was getting without realizing that just like in real life, I spoke (more like vomited) because I wanted to be heard so badly.
I was saturating my feed with stuff I should have kept private because in a way, the likes, the comments, and the retweets validated me. Unconsciously, I was showing off, trying to prove to people that I led a picture perfect life managed by angles and filters. What started out as an innocent way of sharing my life’s details turned into an everyday runway show (or is it a reality show?) minus the real messy details of my everyday real life. Suddenly, the duplicity got to me and I was exhausted by the double life I was leading. My social media sites reflect a perfect life so I must be perfect 24/7.
So I took a break from all of it, even from talking too much in real life. And then I saw the beauty of it. I saw the beauty in silence and the beauty in not having to share every detail of my life and most importantly, I saw the beauty in not responding to questions that I didn’t have to respond to.
I also learned the power found in authenticity, a goal I’ve had since the beginning of the year. If it’s not how I feel at the moment or if I am only posting a photo with this person to prove something then it’s not worth posting.