Being authentic is such a buzz word right now. It’s one thing that a lot of bloggers strive to be and how you see them describe their favourite bloggers.
But what actually is being authentic?
Being authentic is when you, simply put, be yourself. In blogging, this can mean that you the person you portray yourself online is actually who you really are.
In a world of face-tuning, filtering, photoshoots with professional photographers and Instagram themes, it’s more and more common for bloggers to gloss over their lives and make them look better than they are.
Authenticity can mean different things for different people. Some may think that opening up about mental health problems and how life isn’t all sunshine and roses is authentic. Others may think to post a photo without makeup and in pyjamas is authentic. Posting content what you love rather than what you think is popular – another sign of authenticity.
But why do we have to bare all and be 100% honest about all our feelings and problems to be considered authentic? You can bet your bottom dollar that I am not going to go to work and tell my colleagues all about how I cried about something stupid the other night or had a disagreement with my boyfriend – and these are people that I know in real life. So why on earth would I post about these things publicly online?
Same with being in my pyjamas – I’m not going to work in what I sleep in and I don’t want all my friends and family to see what I look like when I first wake up – so why would I want the whole world to have access to photos of me like that. Does it make me not authentic?
When I go out, I try to look my best – unless I am going to the gym – so why can’t I do that if I am going to post a photo on the internet?
What about how we act online vs real life?
It’s so easy to be friendly with everyone on the Internet, isn’t it? But when it comes to talking to people in real, how many of you are petrified when you see those bloggers at an event in real life? I know I am!
I can make conversation with anyone online, but when it comes to that person being in the same room to me, I have no idea how to approach them. My usual plan is to avoid eye contact and then tweet after saying something dumb like ‘oh, were you at the event? I wasn’t sure if it was you!’ so I don’t sound like an ignorant idiot. Does that make me not authentic?
I’ve heard so many bloggers be accused of being rude when they are at events, only taking to their friends. Maybe they are just a bit shy and struggle to speak to those outside their social circle?
While keeping is ‘real’ is great and I never lie about how I am online, I am 100% a socially anxious person. I’m awkward and find conversation hard. I’m also a very private person which means you won’t find me tweeting in the middle of a panic attack or crying in my Instagram stories.
I do think I am honest in my own way. On Instagram, I post mostly fitness. I often talk about bad workouts or times I’ve struggled with something. I am human, after all, and I do not want to portray that working out 6 times a week is easy. But it’s not. But it is routine.
If I have a bad workout then yes, I will post about it. But if I have a bad day or something is going on in my life then I keep that private. That doesn’t make me not authentic. I have friends and family there for me if I need to share my problems with them, not a social media website that anyone can view.