Meet me on the street and ask me “how are you?” and I’ll always say: “I’m good, thank you. How are you?”
Meet me online and ask me “how are you?” and I’ll still say: “I’m fine”
I’m mostly telling the truth. It’s an automatic answer and one that quickly deflects the attention away from me. I’m not trying to hide anything, it’s just common politeness and part of the British psyche. Like everyone, I have my issues and problems, but they’re rarely things I want to discuss in a blog post or on social media.
People are more open about their feelings online than ever before
It started with the idea that “it’s OK to not be OK”. I’m all for that. It’s incredibly important to be open and honest about our feelings and to ask for help when you need it. I wouldn’t want that to change.
Telling the truth is very empowering and it’s quickly become popular online
The world of blogs and Instagram is now awash with gorgeously styled photos complete with “real” and “authentic” captions. Increasingly, a photo of a pretty dress can’t just be a photo of pretty dress anymore. It’s often a exposé of the subject’s most intimate feelings. To paraphrase: “This dress is so pretty, but when I took this photo I felt like shit.” Sometimes it feels like everyone is trying so hard to be real, they forget to be themselves.
What if it’s no longer “OK to be OK”?
Everyone should be able to write what they truly feel online. Personally, I prefer to filter out the things I want to keep private, and to be honest and open about the rest on this blog. I’d hate to think that anyone felt pressurised into behaving a certain way. It would be terrible if someone felt they had to edit their own feelings online because they didn’t seem authentic enough.
Do what makes you feel comfortable and don’t try too hard
If pouring your heart out in a social media post makes you happy, then do it. And if you prefer to keep your private life offline, than that’s alright too. I’m never going to be the kind of person who wants to tell the whole world about what’s worrying me. Life doesn’t always have to be complicated. Sometimes we just want to post a picture of cup of coffee on Instagram because it’s pretty, not because it contains the meaning of life.
The only answer is to be who you want to be, not what you think someone else wants you to be.