I’ve been blogging for quite a few years now. When I first started posting recipes to the web from my college dorm room the world of blogging was quite different than it is today. There was no Instagram, blog Facebook pages weren’t a thing, Snapchat didn’t exist and Twitter was still in its early days. Over the years I’ve met a number of bloggers and online “friends” that I’ve followed on social media for years. Some have turned into real-life friends and others have left me incredibly disappointed when I realize they are nothing like the online personas they’ve created.
I get it, I really do. I’m naturally more introverted, and blogging and social media make it easier for me to express and share my true thoughts and opinions, probably more so than I would be inclined to do in “real life.” But there is a difference between being more extroverted online vs. creating an online persona that isn’t reflective of who you truly are.
While I was at dinner with one of my best girlfriends last month I asked her if she felt who I was online was the same person as the one I put out on the internet. She’s the type of friend I trust to tell me the truth and speak honestly into my life, both in good times and bad, and I believe that if I needed a dose of truth serum that she would provide it to me.
Our conversation got me thinking that perhaps if we want to live a life that’s responsible and honest online it might be worthwhile to have a “social media accountability” friend who calls us all out when they notice that we’re not being true to ourselves. I’m not advocating that our social media accounts need to be filled with pictures of dirty dishes, messy houses or depressingly honest Instagram posts. I don’t think anyone really wants to see a steady stream of filth or discouraging messages in their social media on the regular, but I am advocating for honesty and authenticity, whatever that might look like to you.
Lately I’ve been asking myself a simple question before posting: “Would my close friends and family members say this post is genuine to who they know me to be?” If the answer is “no” then I’ve tried hard to edit or eliminate what I’m about to share. Certainly I don’t get it right 100% of the time, but I’m working at it every day.
A couple other “filters” I’ve been putting my posts through:
-What is the purpose of the post I’m about to share? Is it to draw attention to myself or prop/lift myself up in some way? Am I trying to make myself feel better or get compliments?
-Is what I’m sharing genuine and honest? Is this really how I feel, or am I sharing it because I think it will be “share worthy” on the web?
-Would this post or picture be an encouragement to others or would it tear someone down? Would it cause another person to stumble or falter in some way?
What other “filters” do you use when sharing thing online? Is it something you think about or consider before posting?