I’ve been contemplating lately the importance of honouring your personal values and boundaries online, whilst not being pressured to share more than your comfortable with (or less if that aligns with someone else’s values more than your own).
As a newly diagnosed “micro-influencer” (yup, that’s a thing, and apparently I am one!) people often have an opinion to share with me about what is right and wrong when it comes to “authenticity” online. How far is too far? When does privacy become not being “real” online? Do influencers have the right to be somewhat private with their “stuff” in the same way others do with their regular coffee girl when asked “Hi mate, how ya doing today?”, and we answer, “good thanks”, even though that day you might not be so good? Or do they resign that right when a certain amount of people hit “follow”? Where is the line?
To be honest, I just say go with your gut and hope that others are doing that too. And then understand that there will be a difference between your values and boundaries and theirs… so be gracious about that. Sharing (or oversharing) on social media is SO grey when it comes to rules and boundaries, “right and wrong”. There is no one way to do it because we are all so different. That’s humanity! How boring would it be if we were all the same?
So do I have an answer?
Clearly no. I do however think that aside from that, really the most important thing is that you’re being authentic, real and vulnerable with those closest to you in real life. THAT is the black and white topic we should really be talking about. Because that is what truly matters.
Recently, during a walk along the beach with a close girlfriend of mine, I opened up about a part of myself I wasn’t proud of; something I was really struggling with. A moral “faux pas” if you will. It was hard. I was embarrassed, but I knew I had to be open about it. It turns out, she is wrestling with the same thing!
I was bloody shocked! I never thought this would be something that someone as amazing as her would struggle with. But it was. And it was by sharing my humanity that I was reminded that we are all – shock horror – human. And I, therefore, felt the shame lift. I felt lighter.
It didn’t mean I was “excused”, but I sure as hell was no longer alone. And the only reason I got that sense of relief was because I chose to be vulnerable with her, which then, in turn, allowed her to be with me. It was a beautiful moment and we are now even closer for it. But it took that step of courage on my behalf for us to get there.
So I guess I say all this to say, this week Forte crew, think less about what you’re sharing online and if it’s “right or wrong”, and instead focus on ensuring you’re being real, honest and authentic in your day to day life with those closest to you. At the end of the day, that is what truly matters.
Sending my love!