“Everything is awesome!”
At least, you’d be forgiven for assuming that from a glance at my Instagram feed.
And although I’ve decided that I’m not comfortable with the idea of letting it all hang out online, I still feel conflicted: just how authentic is the story that I’m painting out there?
The issue of online authenticity has always been something of a puzzler for me and was perhaps part of my exodus from social media a while back.
The distance between the real life me and that polished online portrayal has always been the source of some discomfort.
On Instagram, you can either make a conscious decision to be real, or you can choose edited showmanship. I guess I’ve chosen the eye-candy route.
Yes, my work area does look like this – sometimes. But what you can’t see is the sink full of dishes and the piles of laundry just out of shot.
A cliche, but a true one.
Yeah, that’s a photo of me… kinda.
Nice and blurry, so the wrinkles don’t show.
Red tones taken right down so the rosacea doesn’t look too bad.
Sparse patch near my hairline carefully cropped off.
At least Mittens looks good (though I’d have photoshopped out all those stray strands of fur if I’d had the skills!)
It’s all kind of real, but at the same time, it’s just a teeny-tiny snapshot of a far bigger, messier life.
I think what continues to niggle at me is the way our social media feeds purport to show the world what our lives are about, all the while not necessarily being appropriate places to share important, real life stuff.
We can assume that all the pretty isn’t anyone’s full story, but until we know what a person’s walking through, we have little reason to speculate.
Some chose to leave their photos unedited, to share the downs as well as the ups, the smiles as well as the sadness. Some share health struggles and life issues, and those are all perfectly valid choices.
I’m just not sure I would ever share anything that left me feeling so vulnerable.
Which inevitably leaves me with a little discomfort. Because whose life is ever all pretty layouts and shots of their feet in cute shoes?
What are your thoughts on online authenticity? Are you comfortable sharing more personal issues? I’d be keen to hear your thoughts!