I have a love hate relationship with the social medias that I’m sure many people share. It’s designed to be a place that keeps us locked in and engaged for hours on in and to distract us yet inform us simultaneously. And instead of pushing back, we fall further and further into the hole.
I read this article a few days ago and the writer dragged author Rachel Hollis for her seemingly tone death book, Girl, Wash Your Face. In the article, Laura Turner treads lightly around white feminism but I believe she could’ve drove her point forward much more by focusing on the writer’s lack of empathy towards people of color and lack of inclusivity besides focusing on her perfectly curated social media life but I’m glad she did. Turner argues, essentially, that Hollis is selling her lifestyle versus helping people. I agree because that’s what most influencers do but I’m curious as to whether or not they should be faulted for doing so.
Do people really owe us honesty and authenticity on social media?
At this point, social media has become a business. People have built empires and become superstars over carefully curated photos and videos. They have amassed thousands and in some cases millions of followers who look to them for inspiration, motivation and guidance. But it all comes with a price tag.
The curator may have started their journey in an effort to be transparent and open and be the change-maker social media needs but the moment the checks start rolling in, they abandon their vision for the bag. It’s no longer about helping people but about making a living. And should people be faulted for that? This is their livelihood. There’s an opportunity for them to increase their income and provide a better life for their family. If that means working with brands for sponsored posts and making sure every photo they post gets them more brand exposure, then shouldn’t they do that?
Do we really want authenticity?
I once saw a video of a girl on Facebook live crying and I cringed. It was weird!
Personally, I’m posting pictures where I look good. The bomb. FINE. I’m not putting anything on the internet where I look halfway together. I don’t see the point. However, that could be seen as inauthentic. I’ll take that charge. I’ll be damned if I post a picture with my Afro shriveled and shrunken the morning after I forgot to twist it. And I don’t care to see people sad or crying on social media. It truly makes me uncomfortable and I can almost guarantee I’m going to scroll right past it.
But that’s what I think of when people say that social media isn’t real. It’s not. We only get to see a small portion of people’s live and that’s it. It’s pointless to try and make judgments and assumptions based on what people share because it’s a very limited and controlled perspective. We only see the parts of people’s lives that they allow and that’s fine. No one owes us their story.
Going back to the article, I’ve seen several influencers like Hollis. She may have started her journey with the intent to do good but it became a business. Her model shifted from helping to profit and helping. And again I ask, can she be faulted for that? Not really.
But then again, maybe.
Come back next week where I’ll counter this entire argument.
How much should we really share on the internet? Should we monetize every opportunity? What parts of ourselves do we owe to our followers? Do we have to be responsible with our platforms? Should we be relying on the internet to be a place of motivation and inspiration? There are so many questions and I hope you come back to read my thoughts next week.