Why Authenticity is the Wrong Approach to Social Media!

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No, that wasn’t clickbait. And, yes, I can explain.

You act completely different around your boss, colleagues, friends, spouse, mother, grandmother or around strangers at a festival. So which of these would you say is your true authentic self? Probably not how you behave around your boss. So is it maybe around your close friends or around your spouse? But then again, there was this one time where you complained to your friends about how your spouse insists on the two of you spending the day together when in reality this was just a lame excuse to your friends because you actually wanted to spend the day with your spouse.

On the other hand, your mother and grandmother probably know that you’re drinking alcohol on a regular basis. They know you pretty well, they’ve raised you after all. And yet, you’ve never told them the story of how you lay in a ditch at a festival vomiting your soul out. But that’s a story that you’ve told all of your friends.

We could continue to play this game for a long time pushing you into ever more extreme situations that would presumably lay bare your true “authentic” self. But this is where the idea of authenticity starts to become useless for us. We could try to find one of your authentic selves and cling on to it. Maybe the self around your friends. Because, hey!, being cool with everyone is the whole point of social media. Or is it? What if your audience happens to be more like your grandmother or your boss and demands a different type of communication than your friends?

Introducing a New Concept

In the examples that I’ve mentioned above we can see a person who cares about others and the relationships with them. This person doesn’t tell their friends that they don’t want to spend the day with them instead they make up a story to avoid hurting their friends’ feelings. They don’t talk about excessive partying at a festival with their mother and grandmother because they don’t want them to be worried.

Think About What Your Core Values Are

As an example let’s assume that you are an equal-opportunity employer (just because the topic is incendiary). Another company has just publicly laid off some employees based on gender/race/religion. A reaction to this might be to tweet at the other company to

“Send them to us, we always need skilled workers!”

This is taunting and even aggressive behavior. But it signals to everyone that you care about equal-opportunity employment so much that you are willing to sacrifice sales or business relationships and even risk confrontation to protect those values. Thus, your choice to send this message out has revealed to the world something about your values and who you are.

One Last Thing

In Conclusion

This post was originally published on my website. If you liked this piece of content, please recommed, share, and consider following me on social media. Facebook — is the hub where I post the latest updates. Instagram — for visual updates from the life of a “dashing” photographer. Twitter — if you’re feeling adventurous and want to tread into uncharted no man’s land.

Written by

Feeling artsy & being sales manager for Swat.io, the social media management tool for teams.

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