“Authenticity” has become a buzzword in this industry. Be authentic, they tell you. Share who you really are with your readers to gain trust and appear as more than a smiling blonde sipping a Starbucks online.
I really do take authenticity seriously. Social media is a highlight reel. Only the best photos make it to a post, ones where you look happy, successful, pretty, etc. I, too, scroll through my social media and have to disconnect from all the fake BS I see. The fake, curated lives you see play out online are especially fueled by blogging and “Instagram models.” Though my circle in the industry is full of real ass girls who will tell it to you straight, there are so many pictures on my explore feed that just make me want to scream, THIS ISN’T REAL!
For these reasons, as well as my own moral compass, I try to be transparent with you about everything in my blog and social medias. I regularly hop on IG stories in glasses, no makeup and giant T-shirts from college. You know that my feed and my real life are two different things… and that I only wear makeup once, maybe twice, a week. #realtalk
Authenticity in the industry is great, as honesty is key to forming lasting relationships with readers. However, once you create that relationship full of 100% honesty… where do you draw the line between authenticity and oversharing?
I want to share my life with you (after all, that’s my job) but I also want to live in the moment. Have you ever been at a concert only to realize everyone around you was watching the performance through their phone screens as they recorded Snaps or IG stories?!?! It drives me crazy!! Take a good shot, then put the phone away and enjoy! I try to live by that mantra no matter where I am or what I’m doing – get a shot or two to post later, then jump back into the moment and LIVE. Yes, I want to share the cutest coffee shop I found with you, but I also want to catch up with my friend who’s there enjoying it with me.
Not only do bloggers have to worry about “oversharing” content, we have to figure out the point at which we are “oversharing” our personal lives.
I recently saw a situation in a FB group that made me consider this topic. A blogger was being blasted by readers for not “opening up enough” about an event in her personal life. I think it was regarding a pregnancy and IVF updates… For obvious reasons, I can understand why a blogger would want to take time to process things with her loved ones before blasting it on the internet. I applaud her for even being brave enough to talk about such a personal topic, and it greatly upset me to read the disparaging comments about how she “didn’t care” about her readers and “wasn’t being honest.”
I myself struggle with wanting to share my thoughts and feelings with you and at the same time wanting to have some time to process and feel things on my own, in my personal life separate from my business.
I do feel a bit dishonest posting a smiling photo to my feed when on the inside I feel like screaming or crying. However, if it’s a sponsored post that a brand needs up legally, I post it regardless of my feelings because it is a work requirement. I try to take things on a case by case basis. Sometimes, if I’m upset, I will share tidbits with you on stories or maybe some quotes that really resonate with me at the time. Other times, I may just be offline completely.
There are also issues I face with being able to fully communicate what I’m going through with you. Out of respect to my family and friends, I’m never going to share certain situations on the internet. Some issues are currently active and I have to wait until they’re over and done with before I could begin to share those stories. I don’t want to share too much publicly.
I want to be authentic and true to myself, honest with you, and a place of realness in this fake social media age. At the same time, I want to sometimes be able to separate my personal life from my business. I really hope that you understand and respect my choice to share or not to share parts of my life with all of you.