Sounds quite obvious, right ? Well, its not.
In this day and age its so easy to fake your identity online, that most of us have already be doing it in a small or bigger way. On facebook what an average Joe is doing, is faking his life. All he aims for, is to make his friends, friends of friends, or even strangers, believe that he is living “the life”. Come on! We all do it more less.
We all take pictures of what we eat, where we lived, having fun on a vacation and looking gorgeous surrounded with friends. We will take a photo of a Michelin-star level meal, but we won’t probably click the button for a plain fish and chips take away, right ? If you are “documenting” your life, but your are living the “non cool” parts out of it, well you are faking it.
We may take a selfie 15 times just to make sure we hit the right angle. Imperfections are not acceptable in the new world.
But is that really the case?
Take a look around you. Well, virtually. Who do you follow online ? Who are the people who are getting noticed? The ones that get more attention.
If you look a bit closer you will notice they all have something in common. They are not faking it too much. In a world of “Fake”, “True” is the new thing. Its really mind blowing!
But again. In all seriousness. Would you get inspired by someone who is just another fakebrity ? A person who has no imperfections just looks unnatural. And people’s instinct can sense it. By design.
Imperfections are what distinguishes us from the mass after all. Vulnerabilities are attractive. Use them.
So all I need to do is just be myself ?
Well, that would be a great starting point and just makes more sense don’t you think? Don’t fool yourself though. Being yourself online is not as easy as you might think. When you are used to fake it, how are you going act like “you” for a change ?
Younger people find quite easier to act “real” online. It comes natural to them. They grew having the internet for granted so “online” was their second nature since ever. It’s like they have managed to merge the two identities and came out with new one. Thats why they don’t have much sense of privacy, but that’s another blogpost by itself.
People like me (I’m 36) struggle with that idea. We got online far later in our lives, so we treat the online world as a separate thing. We have our offline and our online realities. The older you met that new world, the more difficult will be to make it your own.
So, where do we even start?
Be open to faults and leave the glitter on the side. Faults are the proof of something being real. Marketing people are making intentionally spelling mistakes in their newsletters, just to make you feel like its not another automated message. Nature has faults. Everything has faults. So, embrace yours and let them out there. Expose them.
Watch out. Do not overdo it.
Letting people see your real side is not about being raw and unprofessional. Take care of your image, just don’t put too much glitter on it. Its super easy to get caught in the trap of starting to look like the weirdo. A persons who talks about only his faults, imperfections and bad habits, trying to be “himself”. We all have met this guy/girl who is always blue and talks like Ross Geller when broke up with Reachel (“hiiii…”).
Here’s how I try to approach online world. I always think what i would do if i was offline. In a real party. A real bar. A real gathering. How would i react? What would let people see in me?
Not everything is for everyone. Close friends will see a side of me acquaintances won’t until they become close enough. And that just natural. We have the best version of ourselves available only to new people. People who we wish to get them to like us. Close friends and family is another category.
Heres an example.
I’m a guy who likes to make faces. It comes just natural to me. I do faces all the time. I look like a weirdo in most of my friends photos. That doesn’t mean i am going to stuff my Instagram with faces. Most of the people won’t understand, since they don’t have the context to do so. But since this is who i am, I will let some pictures out there.
Again, if i went to a party i wouldn’t just talk and interact with everyone like I knew them forever. Do you see where I’m getting? If you always ask yourself a simple question like “would i do that in an offline scenario?” then you will have the right answer most of the times. If not, leave the decision to your gut. It always knows better.