Staying Authentic Despite Social Media’s “Show off” Culture
Social media is a technological marvel, joining complete strangers across the globe into unexpected friendships and communities while spreading messages and movements faster than ever before. It is its own culture. With the availability of news and social media streams, we are each given an opportunity to give a unique message to the world. All too often though, this opportunity is met with unhealthy habits of creating false facades of our lives to gain popularity or to feel superior. All the while, onlookers compare the harsh realities of their private, lack luster daily lives and feel the need to compensate. We become addicted to image and the unrelenting comparison pollutes joy and self-love.
There is an excerpt from my book, Let the Heart Speak (available now on Amazon), that I would like to share with you that perfectly addresses this unhealthy habit many of us tend to find ourselves in.
Authenticity is not encouraged in a society that is addicted to image.
Striving to look good is the opposite of being authentic. Unfortunately, our culture and media focus on projecting an image, an image that has nothing to do with the truth of one’s being. This trend encourages an addiction to celebrities. We look for false idols to follow and imitate at the cost of our personal authenticity. From skinny jeans to Venetian shades we are like lambs led to the pasture of “trends.”
Loving yourself is not about falling in love with your façade.
A friend from Twitter asked me to write about the “ego.” The ego is the part of ourselves I define as the “Defensive Self”. The Defensive Self is that part of us which is concerned with survival and safety. It is attached to an outside source seeking for recognition, validation, and reassurance. This aspect of ourselves is formed at a young age; at a time, we look to secure love at any cost. To get this attention, some of us become addicted to excelling, others become rebels, and yet many become pleasers. These are just some of the ways we skew ourselves to get love, attention and a sense of safety.
If you are reading this and you are an adult, part of becoming emotionally mature is to learning to be self-reliant regarding recognition, validation, and reassurance. However, this is not to say that we shouldn’t be open to enjoying others’ support and praise, but those should be in addition to what we already have within ourselves.
Adulthood is the time to look within and find out who we truly are: our vulnerabilities, strengths, needs and desires. It is a time to learn to honor and nurture our authentic essence and find creative and expressive ways to enjoy our truth and share it with others.
Exercise: Choose one significant relationship in which, you are not allowing yourself to be completely authentic.
Ask yourself: • What kind of image am I trying to project in this relationship? • Why am I doing this? • What would I truly like to express if I was not withholding my truth? • I’m I willing to take a risk and share who truly I am?
If you’ve done the exercise and are ready and willing to take the risk and be more honest – GO FOR IT!
When you are honest, you inspire more honesty, and honesty leads to transformation.