What Does Living Authentic Mean to Me?
It's easy to lose sight of who you are in the face of a following that prefers a version of you that only slightly exists. The more followers you get for specific posts, the more the weight increases to not let your followers down. But this weight exists for a reason. It's easy to judge celebrities for not handling the pressure of having their lives on display, but then get really nervous about making sure we post photos that will get the most amount of likes. A term came out about "living authentic" where we post our version of authenticity for the world to see how cool or adventurous we really are.
The pressure to perform on social media will always exist to some extent. I've seen people handle the pressure in a number of different ways.
- We take breaks from social media.
- We quit social media.
- We buy followers or likes to make ourselves look better.
- We don't follow people because our feed doesn't look as good as theirs.
But the only thing that can really remove ourselves from this pressure is if we quit social media and don't put ourselves out there. So the question I been asking myself is this: How can we use social pressures to better ourselves, rather than letting social media leave us disappointed?
Here's what I've found to be helpful:
Follow people that inspire you, and let them live there. You don't look at a celebrity and wonder why you can't have their life, so why would you do that with someone on social media? Let their lives inspire you to live yours better, and don't let jealousy drive your desire to post a certain way on social media.
Keep learning and keep experimenting. Don't let complacency of continually posting what you know will get likes drive your feed. I occasionally like to throw in photos of cupcakes, portraits, or patterns to keep it off balance.
The moment you start letting your followers decide what you post, you limit your creativity. Living authentic is about living the life you really want to live and putting that on display.
Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. - Oscar Wilde
Chase your passion and it will naturally grow.
My attempt to use social pressures to perform went well. I met with my favorite juice company, The Juice Bar, and collaborated on this experiment to do one of their more difficult cleanses, a 5-day juice cleanse.
Being someone that works out regularly, and eats a lot of food and enjoys a good beer, I knew this was going to be a difficult time. I put myself out there though and announced that I was doing this cleanse on social media.
If I didn't have a greater purpose for cleansing, I would have failed on day one. But I wanted to have a story to tell. I wanted to impact others. I let social pressures drive me to do something that I would have failed on my own.
I'm learning to not let myself be influenced by a following, but rather by my passions and the people that inspire me. The moment I let a following decide my future instead of making decisions for myself, I start losing my identity and why I gained the following in the first place. People want to follow you for you, not for you being someone else. Be unique. Be you.
Here's some photos I've taken that I've been too scared of losing followers to post. Hope you enjoy.