Unfiltered Life: Rediscovering Authenticity Using Social Media By Deborah Neary

Deborah Neary

Social media appears to have taken center stage for most of us, at least for now in the history of humanity!

We tend to forget how life was before the advent of platforms that connect us virtually. Before we could share, like, and comment on every aspect of our lives, and other people’s lives, there was a sense of raw authenticity and genuine connection with a handful of people we actually knew in real life.  As we navigate the digital landscape, it’s important to avoid the temptation of creating an online life using filters and gamification of ourselves, as if our avatar is who we are. Instead, let’s explore empowering ways to move forward, spreading love and compassion in a world that sometimes feels cold and lonely. We seem to be moving further and further away from reality. There is a balance and it’s time to consider what that means for each of us.

The Simplicity of Life Unplugged:

In the early 80s, I was traveling with my college buddies around Europe and we had the privilege of seeing an exhibit of the amazingly talented artist, Ralph Steadman. He created a stunning image that had such an impact on me, it is burned into my memory. I will endeavor to describe it the best I can:

Imagine a pen and ink cartoon drawing. A little boy is perched awkwardly on a tall stool with a large headset over his ears staring at a small computer screen on a table in front of him. On the screen is a drawing of a tree. The statement Steadman was making is presently happening. For the boy was sitting in the middle of a forest! 

Cast your mind back, it wasn’t that long ago, to those days when friendships were built on shared experiences rather than virtual connections. Before social media was a “thing” I don’t know if life was simpler, but I do know that we were less likely to multi-task. We didn’t feel the need to filter ourselves before visiting a friend for a cuppa or feel a sense of inadequacy because someone else had a more perfect life online than ours. Take a step back and embrace the freedom of unplugging from the digital world, allowing yourself to rediscover genuine connections and the joy of being in the present moment. Nature has a way of grounding us. It is crucial to take breaks and find solace in stillness. Share your unedited stories, vulnerabilities, and triumphs. Remember it is time to break free from the confines of societal expectations and dare to be REAL. Authenticity is far more captivating than any filter can ever be! When you show up true to yourself you will attract people who resonate with your vibe.

Empowered and Free:

While social media sometimes feels like virtual reality, we have the power and choice to change the narrative. Let’s use these platforms as tools for positive change, spreading love and compassion. Shift your focus from comparison and competition to uplifting others and celebrating their successes. By engaging in meaningful conversations, sharing inspiring content, and using your voice for good, you can make a real impact and bring a touch of reality to the digital world. Social media has undoubtedly changed the way we interact with the world, but it doesn’t have to define who we are.

Mind the Gap!:

And Relax. We must be mindful of the overwhelming amount of information that comes at us, most of it uninvited. The constant stream of updates, news, and opinions can be emotionally draining. It is important to protect our mental well-being and to make self-care a priority. Balance and perspective help to bridge the gap between our online and offline lives. Use social media as a platform to amplify meaningful experiences and real-world connections. I am making an effort to meet people face-to-face, participate in community events, and engage in activities that align with my passions. It does take more effort to go to a coffee shop or get on a call but I think it’s worth it in the long run. Old-fashioned “chin wags”, bike rides, hugs, and walks in the park are some of my happy places. One of my favorite lines in the movie Captain America is: “People just might need a little ‘old fashioned’.” I know that is true for me and I am out there, determined to be as real as I can and attract the ideal person to my social media content.

You never know you may attract the Greatest Networker in the World Just by being YOU!

Deborah Neary
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