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Authenticity on Social Media


For all you avid social media goers out there or wannabe social media influencers, whatever your steeze, this one’s for you! It’s easy to please your online following with the best parts of your day, but how authentic are you truly being on social media? In 2020, this is a hard wānanga to have. Most of us are all about protecting our image and portraying a sustainable, mana Māori, kaupapa driven lifestyle – but what are the chances you get anxious every time someone brings up social media cos your ‘gram is so far fetched from your day to day life?

It’s really popular to be popular at the moment. Your social status is determined by being “seen”. Ego’s are inflated by likes and follows. Insta stories are flooded with keep cups, exercise, vego/vegan inspired kai, inspirational quotes, “save the animals” type stuff. But do you walk your talk? So in this sense, social media is SO DANGEROUS. It’s no wonder why the rate of mental illnesses among our people are on the rise. We are so caught up in pleasing everyone else and putting on a facade that we neglect ourselves and fail to realise what really matters to our own selves the most.

On the contrast, it’s so popular to talk about our feelings of despair… go figure. Even being vulnerable on social media is trendy because your audience is living their confidence in the confidence you have in your own vulnerability. Social media is one damn big double-edged sword!

1. How really fulfilling is it to have so-called ‘validation’ through social media though?

2. This weeks Tikanga tips are statements or rhetorical questions merely for effect. It’s up to you how you wanna tackle social media from here on out but please seriously consider the following:

3. What reasons do you make use of social media and how is it useful?

4. If it gives you a sense of involvement, do you feel like you can participate in things that are being shown on social media outside of these spaces?

5. If it helps you raise your voice against social injustice and issues, how else are you supporting that cause that you feel so strongly about?

6. If it helps you interact with others and develop relationships, how are you maintaining those relationships when you look up from the screen?

If you use it to share valuable information and influence an audience, is that audience even deserving of your knowledge?

If it helps to get/give quick results, is that taking valuable conversation out of your life?

It’s all well and good to live your best life the way that you want. In no way am I trying to impose and dictate what you find joy in doing. But if you’re portraying authenticity online and acting the exact opposite in real life, people are going to take a stab at finding the truth. And all in all, this whole kauhau may not even factor into the way you’re going to approach social media in the future. But I’ll leave this last piece as food for thought. In the words of the great Robert Nesta “everyone’s Uncle Bob” Marley:

“Open your eyes and look within, are YOU satisfied with your life?”