Recently I went to a restaurant and the guys sitting next to me were secretly swapping watches, so that the one guy could impress a girl he had met at the bar with his friend’s Rolex. I’ve seen grown men borrow fancy, excessive cars in order to appear richer and more successful. I’ve witnessed people put on the most spotless show to the public eye, only to retreat into lonely, ashamed, substance-abusing beings in private. I see people often pretending to be something they are not.
In a world of Facebook, where we see a constant stream of our ”friends” lives – from their latest vacations, Ferrarris, bottle service in Vegas, to ultrasounds – we see the image people carefully craft. Because it’s online, the ability to pick and choose this image is easy.
Every status update, photo, boast and tweet – is chosen to present to the world the type of person we want everyone to think that we are. There is nothing wrong with this. However, it’s common for people to pose to be something that they really aren’t. I don’t know if social media is to blame for the lack of authenticity that is running rampant online. Regardless, I want to call it out. To the people busy posing out there, here’s my note to you:
Please. Be you. Nobody who really matters cares about the image of the perfect, rich, successful, party perusing, popular, celebrity acquainted person you are trying to craft. People who matter – they care about your kindness, your compassion, your consistency, your love, your attitude and your values. People who matter see through the other stuff and know it is just a mask to hide your insecurity. Fancy “things” do not add to you as a person. They are fine to enjoy, but just know that they don’t make you any better, more loveable, and definitely not any cooler. Are there people who gravitate to that stuff? Of course. But is that the audience and company you really care to keep? I’ll repeat a quote my sister once told me, “Only impressionable people are impressed.” It’s as if there is a big circle of impressionable people constantly seeking validation trying to impress everyone else.
I have a lot of respect for people who have the courage to be raw, authentic, honest and… imperfect. Because as human beings – we naturally come with vulnerability, flaws, fears and complex emotions. That is what makes us beautiful. That is what enables us to connect and bond. When we try to mask our basic humaness and cover it up with superficial visages, we lie. We put forth a self that we think everyone wants us to be, when really, people just want you to be at ease with who you already are. Can we all stop posing now so we can really connect? In the words of the famous doctor himself…
“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” – Dr. Seuss