Be authentic. Be your true self. Live an authentic life. Authentic. Everywhere, all the time. The newest and latest buzzword of the century. What exactly is it that makes one authentic in this virtual modern-day life we live? Is it in that over-stylised corner of your house you use as a backdrop to your immaculate life? Is it that quick selfie that you took fifty times to get right? Is it that one minute those little monsters you so love stood still, proof of your perfect family? Is it that hour you spent before posting that spontaneous hashtag? Is it how your meal looks more than tastes? Is it the perfect sunset you captured and forgot to see? Is it who you want to be rather than who you really are?
Without pointing a finger, I too am guilty as charged on this one. I am vigilant and over meticulous and anxiety-riddled every time I have to press the post button on any of these platforms. I am grateful for what they have done for my career but I am horrified by what they are doing to my sanity. I find myself struggling with the expectation my higher self has of me. This nonchalant attitude we all maintain of our virtual lives is exhausting me. Being 'authentic' in the way our times require reminds me all too much of how being 'different' was to the nineties and 'keeping up with the Joneses' was to the sixties. In other words, I feel like all this palava about being ourselves is actually making us all the same, and it's not just me. I have seen it happen to the most authentic people I know. People who are grounded on this earth heavily are now spending their days searching for unique snippets of their lives to impress their followers.
Thing is, if we spend so much time seeking those moments to post online when do we have time to live them? I had always prided myself on being authentic. Thought I was the real deal, was excited about this new way of expressing my authentic self online. These days I am feeling overwhelmed by it. It feels like it's taken over what could actually be my real life. Authenticity, happiness and joy, hidden behind the blurry lens of social media seem to me like an oxymoron and as inauthentic a life as you can get. I don't know, maybe I am just overreacting, maybe I'm just overworked or maybe I need to just get out of the house more.
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