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Be Yourself on Social Media


Social media is often critiqued for being fake.  People post the best side of themselves (quite literally with photoshopping apps) and hide their true selves behind a guise of happiness. Unfortunately, this often leads to unhappiness and anxiety, as we compare ourselves to the best of others.

Young mothers are especially at risk for social media depression, deeply affected by their mommy-friends posting pictures and videos of their kids, their accomplishments, and seemingly perfect lives. Instantly they take a look at their own life, the dirty dishes in the sink, their crying baby, snotty-nosed toddler, and dinner of corn dogs and french fries, and start to wonder what they are doing wrong. In reality, they are no less competent than those smiling faces they see on social media, they are just comparing their “worst” to another person’s “best.”

The Social Media Effect
Social media creates a gap between our “real self” — the person that you are, and your “ideal self” — the person that you would like to be, or the person that you portray on social media.  This causes many people, teens and adults alike, to experience social media anxiety. Among teens, there is something known as the “100 club.”  You join “the club” if your photos have 100 likes. If you do not have 100 “likes” on your photos, it is embarrassing, and you can be shunned by your peers. Mothers also feel this stress as they try to keep up with their social media friends. They feel like they have to throw amazing parties, attempt DIY crafts, have behaved children, be a perfect mom — and smile every moment along the way.

It is important to remember that social media is a photoshopped slice of life. Photos are smoothed over, staged, and taken in a perfect moment. They do not represent real life. Every post and every photo does not show the struggle of a long day: the temper tantrums, the tears, the messy house, the long to-do list etc.

Your Story Can Inspire Others
In committing to show your true self on social media, you will inspire others. The “perfect” moments will have more meaning because people will see the imperfect ones as well. Your friends will see your story and more fully celebrate your successes, and will build you up when times are hard. You will inspire others to reach out and say “Hey, me too.” when things don’t always go as planned. Others will appreciate your honesty, relate to your circumstances, and feel better about their lives, as they see that others experience similar things. If you have recently experienced something difficult like divorce, addiction, miscarriage, or a death in the family, don’t be afraid to reach out and share your story.  You just might change someone’s life.


How to Be Your True Self

Start Small

Doing a complete 180 and posting every nitty gritty detail about your life will exhaust you.  It will also make your friends and family wonder if you are doing ok.  Start small. Start by posting one status a week that is 100% honest. There is a movement using #TotalHonestyTuesday trying to increase honesty on social media every Tuesday — participate for a few weeks. Over time, increase your “honest” posts, until you feel like you are portraying your true self on social media.

Set Goals
Set goals for yourself to accomplish being more open and honest on social media. Decide how you want to portray yourself on social media and make a plan to get there. Make sure that you set SMART goals. SMART stands for: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-sensitive. Meaning: set goals that are clear, have ways that you can track your success, are accomplishable, and have clear deadlines.


Put Down Your Phone
The Android app “Locket” found out that the average user checks their device about 110 times a day. We are attached to our phones, we never leave the house (or even the room) without having them glued to our sides. Put down your phone. Live in the moment. Watch your children grow up instead of taking pictures and videos of them growing up. Interact with your little ones without a phone in between you. Give yourself a time limit for your phone, just like you would give one to your child. You will feel so much more fulfilled and happy by living in the moment than you do when you are glued to your screen.

Love Yourself
Stop comparing yourself to others, and start seeing who you truly are. Every morning, look at yourself in the mirror and say “I love you” to your reflection. Change your perspective, and look at the things that you have accomplished, rather than every little thing you didn’t. Begin every day with a fresh outlook, and forgive yourself for your past. Try again today. Be grateful for what you do have, and express that gratitude often. Take care of your body by eating healthy and exercising as often as you can. And of course, learn to laugh.

Let's discuss: Are you your true self on social media or do you portray to be someone different? 

Annmarie John
80 Comments
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80 comments:

  1. I don;t have time to be fake on social media or anywhere else. Take me or leave me.

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    1. Kudos to you! Unfortunately not everyone thinks like you do.

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  2. Social media is such a tough place, especially for young people. I try to make it a priority to unplug every now and then because while social media is one of my favorite places to spend time, it can also be pretty draining.

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    1. It really can be and it's a place where everyone pretends that their life is perfect. Pretending can be draining.

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  3. I am happy to say I can live without my phone. As for being honest i am always myself but I hate taking about myself to others. I just feel it's better to allow others to talk than to tell t much about yourself this allows people the power to hurt you.

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    1. I love to talk and I've shared a lot. I really don't care because I keep it real and I try to be transparent, even here on the blog. No fakeness with me.

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  4. It is sad that someone can curate an enviable life on Social Media. I think everyone can see through that by now. I'm all about being the best we can be and empowering others. I show it all - the good the bad and the fun stuff!!

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    1. You're just like me. I show everything because no one's life is perfect.

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  5. You know, I do my own thing on social media. I don't follow the crowd....in fact I usually am totally opposite of everyone.

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    1. That's great! I am very much the same way.

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  6. Great advice it's hard though when someone posts nasty comments though. It can be crushing and belittling. Hard to keep going!

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    1. I do agree. It can be tough to keep quiet but I personally don't care what people say or think about me. If you're not paying my bills then you can kick rocks, literally!

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  7. I agree - if we don't show the real lives we lead, we are setting our kids up to feel inadequate or missing out on "perfect," when it doesn't exist.

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    1. That is so true Sarah. I love showing the real me. My kitchen is dirty because we're always cooking. My living room is a mess because the kids are playing. I never try to be who I'm not, EVER!

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  8. I know I have struggled with comparing myself to the moms who seem to have it all together. Truth is we can zoom in on the clean parts on Social Media. We can also zoom out and show the whole story... A beautiful mess!

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    1. I love this Keikilani. You'd be surprised at those moms who we think have it together. They're probably more messed up than we think they are.

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  9. I grew up in an environment where telling people your business (good or bad) is like inviting them into your life to judge you. I didn't like how people knew what was going on in our house just so that they can run their mouth. Back then there was no social media. As I grew older I kind of kept that mentality of only sharing the good and not the bad. But when you are a blogger people don't really want to see just the good, they want to be able to relate to you.

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    1. That's the caribbean thing Marielle and I totally get that. My mom was the same way but I'm very different. My thing is, I don't hide anything so there's nothing to find out and hold over my head. I'm very transparent.

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  10. Great post! Nothing ever beats being yourself. We're all unique in our own ways. Why put that to waste. :-) Thanks for sharing. Keep it up!

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    1. You're very welcome PJ. No one can be better than you and I try to be the best I can without compromising myself.

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  11. I certainly try to be as true as I can on social media while also not violating anyone else's privacy. Otherwise social media gets overwhelming and full of drama.

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    1. You are so right. I share my life and that of my family. I don't involve anyone else.

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  12. I usually use my phone to read blog posts and articles. I use social media to share those posts and articles. So, for me, social media is a knowledge sharing base. That makes me feel good about being stuck to my phone most of the time. Thank you for the planner post.

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    1. Well this post is actually telling you to put down your phone. Being stuck to your phone actually means you're missing out on life and everything that is truly happening in front of you.

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  13. Love how you mention to put down your phone.
    I am starting to leave my phone in my purse more often then not because I want to be engaged with those around me and not spend so much of my life hiding behind a screen!

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    1. I've been doing the same thing too and it's been turning out great for me.

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  14. I don't really get why people have to pretend. It's just social media. I think this is a very nice post, I hope a lot of people read it.

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    1. I don't get it either Elizabeth and it astounds me. I just wish more people would just be themselves.

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  15. This is really intriguing. 110 times a day! I think I check my phone less but seriously that is insanity

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    1. Crazy right? I think I used to be one of those people until I learned to let go of my phone and focus on what's going on around me.

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  16. I sooooo love this positive post. SMART goals are how I work in my job and I love that you have applied this to life. You have to be unique on social and just positive. I love it.

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    1. You really do have to apply it to life. It's really the only way you can really achieve what you want.

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  17. I like the last part. We must not compare ourselves and just be happy with the successes of others. Sometimes, jealousy is the root why people gloss over their real lives and post things to pretend they are okay and to make themselves feel better. We must be responsible with what we post and be discerning of what we read & how we react.

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    1. I'm not jealous of anyone. I remember though that I used to be. I used to see other bloggers getting cool stuff and wonder why I couldn't get cool stuff. Now I don't even worry about getting anything. I decided that jealousy wasn't going to get me anywhere. I had to work for what I have and I did that.

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  18. I totally agree with you. Being fake will not take us anywhere on the social media or in life in general. And so true that we cannot be technology addict and lose touch of the reality. Thanks for this post!

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    1. Oh it truly won't. I think we truly have lost touch of reality and oh how I wish it was different.

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  19. It makes me so sad that so many people have to compromise themselves on social media just to get more likes and popularity. We have to be ourselves! :D

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    1. If it makes them feel better then I guess they do what they have to do but how do they live with themselves at night?

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  20. I am who I am (ha, a Popeye saying, who knew that would ever resurface) and I'm too old to care what others think on or off of social media. That was not always the case, but the older you get, the less those things matter. Thank goodness. :) This is a great post for those who may be struggling though, definitely.

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    1. I love that Popeye saying as well. I'm too old to worry about what people think about me as well. I hope those who do pretend will read it.

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  21. I think when it comes to social media, you set the rules. At the same time, you should also try to limit what you post online to leave some for yourself. I also think that we should set some time to be away from social media too.

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    1. Totally agree. There needs to be balance no matter what you do.

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  22. I really need to work on separating myself from my phone. How odd that just ten years ago, I could even live without a phone, but now, you're right, I can't even leave the room without it. We should experience life, not take photos and videos all the time.

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    1. That is true. Not too long ago I could have left the house and not worry about having a phone. I actually went out today and left mine at home. Felt good!

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  23. Social media is way too misleading and people really get carried away. I want to learn how to put down my phone and ease my life. I have noticed whenever i hide my phone, i am more relaxed:)

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    1. I've also felt that way too. When I'm not on social media I feel so much better. I think Facebook is the worst.

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  24. It's odd how we measure ourselves against others thru social media. I don't see it as such a "fake" portrayal of anyone's life. I certainly don't want to showcase my worst moments? Why wouldn't I share my favorite pictures, moments, and life events with people? Somehow it has gotten turned around and is received as this pre-constructed set-up of a "perfect" life. Not me...I've got plenty of things to work on! lol

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    1. There is nothing wrong at all with sharing all the good stuff but what about some of the bad? It doesn't have to be life threatening. How about my kid threw a tantrum today? Instead of my kid is the best at everything he does. We're not perfect and no-one expects us to be.

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  25. Many people should read this. And I want to add that social media should not pressure you at all!

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    1. No it really shouldn't and if it does then you need to reevaluate your life.

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  26. What a great idea about the Honest Tuesdays posts. I love the most those bloggers who do share their honest stories. It really is endearing. (Tonya C)

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    1. I've shared some very personal posts on my blog as well. I've shared the messy house, the screaming kid, my life isn't perfect and no-one expects it to be.

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  27. great post! many should be reading this and 'recalibrating' their lives. frankly speaking, i don't believe in most of the 'i'm so lucky/happy... yada yada' posts on social media. nobody would want to share something bad in their lives... so even if they've encountered 99 sad incidents and 1 happy incident, they will only post that 1 happy incident and possibly exaggerate it. with that said, i guess it's really time we all grow up and stop living our lives on social media.

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    1. I totally agree. Even though there is that 1 happy moment, there really is no need for exaggeration. We all know that your life isn't perfect.

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  28. Love all your tips. That's something I try to stick to. Sadly, this is not what clients are looking for! They are always going for numbers and statistics!

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    1. That is actually incorrect. Clients do want honesty in your posts and guess what? Your readers can tell if you're dishonest. Why lie and exaggerate? What happens if that person purchases that product that you just lied about, then you may just lose a reader because you lied about it.

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  29. Its indeed a beautiful post. Many a time, running behind acceptance in social media, we pressurize ourselves bad...

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    1. We pressure ourselves trying to be someone that we're not. If we just be ourselves I think we will all be OK.

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  30. Since I'm not good on these comment area's. On the contest page it asked "What do you do to make your Valentine's Day special?" and my answer is to take everyone & myself out for a special dinner.

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    1. Hi Janice, I think you commented on the wrong post. :) It was nice of you stopping by.

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  31. I am honest on my social media accounts, sometimes I became too honest which is not good. readers and clients wants an honest post on our blogs anyways

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    1. I totally agree Lee. Readers and clients want an honest post, they don't want something that you made up just to sell their product.

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  32. Yes, will take note on that. Gotta be myself and be original for long term grow. Thanks for the tips.

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    1. You're very welcome. After all who can be a better you than you?

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  33. These are great tips! Our readers appreciate when we share our authentic self for sure!

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    1. I really do think so as well and you don't have to share your entire life story but at least keep it real.

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  34. Great tips. A lot find it hard to be themselves and to be real on social media especially with the pressure the society gives us this day. But until you can be true to yourself, it'll be hard to find genuine happiness.

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    1. I totally agree Erica. I'm not so sure why a lot of people prefer to pretend than to be themselves, but no-one can do you better than you.

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  35. In social media, there are things not to be divulge. SAFETY is number one factor to consider, do not set all your Social Media properties publicly. Know your limit.

    Your true friend knows you better, why hide your true self from them.

    I think we need to be more private, in a way that we protect ourselves and our family from scammers, hackers, etc..

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    1. Well Raine that is also true. For example I share pics of my kids and my family, but I won't put my home address or the address of my kids school for the entire world to see. You do have to know your limits.

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  36. Being a "social media influencer" is already a huge responsibility to fulfill. I think it would be harder to not be yourself when it comes to posting on social media, etc. Well that's just my opinion.

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    1. You'll be surprised at all the social media influencer who aren't themselves, or portray to be someone than they truly are.

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  37. I'm actually very guilty of this. I have lots of posts that are posed/scripted/timed perfectly all for a nice Instagram feed. I do try to inject honesty once in a while. Maybe I'll do it more often with honest Tuesdays.

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    1. That sounds like a great idea. I actually have 2 Instagram accounts. 1 that is only for sponsored blog work and a personal one where I post my life. I am very honest on that one.

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  38. It was interesting to read your views on social media and how one should behave there. Social media has a time and place and people should pay attention to what they share on social media because everything in one's life should not be available for the entire world to see.

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    1. Well that is very much true but I'm not talking about sharing everything. I'm however talking about when you do share, it doesn't have to be made up. Why not keep it real? We all know that your home isn't always spotless, your hair isn't always well done etc. So keep it real!

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  39. I agree" be yourself on social media - and in general. But many people pose as different personas - seem happy when they are sad, seem brave etc. And as Annmarie Fuller pointed out, yes, many influencers are not themselves wither. In the end, we put on masks in society - including in the online environment.

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    1. I'm with you 100% on that. There really is no need to make our lives seems so much better than it really is. If we want our readers to relate to us, why not keep it truthful with them?

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  40. It truly amazes me how much people fake their life on social media. I saw one person one day tell so much lies, and I KNEW she was lying only to make herself look so much better. It's really shameful. No one is saying to share your life story but at least if you're sharing something, keep it 100!

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    1. Oh you're not the only one it truly amazes. I'm sometimes amazed myself as well and I totally agree that if at least you're going to share to at least keep it real.

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[name=AnnMarie John] [img=https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-X9gUeVik-ZY/WJjwNTOobII/AAAAAAABTJ4/qEhU0n62_AIo-j6-6LA2OFOr44lKCHASwCLcB/s100/AnnMarie%2BJohn%2BHeadshot.JPG] [description=AnnMarie John is a lifestyle blogger, mom of 4, retired army veteran and a huge Disney lover. Formerly from the beautiful island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean and now living in colorful Colorado, she loves sharing her opinions on everything, crafting and food.] (facebook=http://www.facebook.com/theannmariejohn) (instagram=http://www.instagram.com/theannmariejohn) (twitter=http://www.twitter.com/theannmariejohn) (pinterest=http://www.pinterest.com/theannmariejohn) (email=mailto:annmarie@annmariejohn.com)

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