Authenticity online (while maintaining a private life)

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Our obsession with authenticity

It’s a bit of a buzzword in the blogosphere, isn’t it? I feel like when it comes to blogging, whether your content is authentic is always a big (and important) question and it’s one we’re always asking ourselves. Am I being genuine if I’m only posting my best pictures on Instagram? Is it dishonest to tweak the colours in this image? Am I lying to my audience by holding back on talking about aspects of my life that aren’t 100% rosy?

The last question is one that I’ve been really stuck on recently. I’ve had a pretty drastic life change (that wasn’t my choice) and if I’m honest it really did knock me and I had a few days where I felt awful. Posting my usual outfit pictures to Insta just didn’t feel ‘real’ anymore, and writing captions without mentioning how I was truly feeling didn’t feel right. But…this situation wasn’t one I could really speak openly about. It involves other people, and it’s very personal. I didn’t want to put people in my life on blast, and I didn’t want to share something I was still feeling so vulnerable about, so I decided to keep quiet, and continue posting what I usually would have if it wasn’t happening. 

Does this mean I wasn’t being 100% honest online? Absolutely. But…I don’t think it means I wasn’t being authentic. What I posted through this time was still very much me

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Authenticity online with boundaries

Authenticity AND privacy

I think, if we’re honest, we don’t want to know everything about the people we follow online. Yes, I want to feel that you’re a real person (with a real life, and real issues) but that doesn’t mean you can’t be choosy with what you share. For example, I’ll happily talk about spilling coffee over myself, wardrobe malfunctions and my personal struggle with depression because they’re topics I feel comfortable and confident about sharing. 

But…when it comes to relationships (and breakups), family and friendships you’ll notice that I keep it pretty private. I’ve been with my boyfriend for nearly a year now and I’ve only posted a picture of him on my Insta Stories once. The separation between our relationship and my online content is something I really value because it means time I spend with him is purely about us, not taking photos for the ‘gram. 

Sure, when it comes to blogger friends, they’re all over my social media, but that’s because we’re often in a location, or at an event, that requires social media posting. When we’re just hanging out I tend to keep it private, and I would never dare share what we discuss online because it’s good to keep those things private!

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Creating your own authenticity rules

So, I guess the main point to take away from this post is that authenticity does not equal a lack of privacy. I think it’s important we all feel comfortable in making our own ‘authenticity rules’. For me, that means respecting the privacy of those I’m close to. 

Authenticity, at the crux of it, just means being true to yourself (and your passions) so just ensure the content you are sharing online makes you happy and is a reflection of your personality and ideas. Apart from that, it’s up to you whether you share that funny anecdote about that time you flashed your pants at the whole of Piccadilly (although, if that is you, I would LOVE to hear about it) or not.