Living My Truth: Being Vulnerable on Social Media

Living My Truth: Being Vulnerable on Social Media

“Love Yourself Instead of Loving the Idea of Other People Loving You”

I saw this quote come up on my Instagram feed and I immediately felt seen.  This quote encapsulated my struggle so well, so I shared it on my story. When a friend reached out then saying she related and started telling me her story, I felt I had to share my own story– I had to share why this quote meant so much to me and touched me so much.

So, I sat down on my bedroom floor (the spot with the best lighting in my apartment) and I recorded a video about losing myself sophomore year of college.  I had the perfect life on the surface– a big group of friends, leadership on campus, a great internship, and good grades– but, I was still so unhappy. I felt lost.  I was at a point of doubt with my religion and I was seriously questioning if God was real and if He was, did it even matter? I made a lot of decisions because of groupthink, rather than using my own judgment.  I was always with people and yet, I had never felt so alone in my life. I thought I had to love myself because others loved me, but I wasn’t happy with myself. I finished recording (after a few takes) and hit post.

Immediately after uploading, panic hit.  Had I shared too much? Would the people who knew me during that time period judge me and unfollow me?  Did people even want to hear about my struggles with faith?

I’ve shared my stories in the past, but this was scarier to me than usual and for a while, I couldn’t understand why.  Then, it hit me. I was sharing this story simply to share and for no other reason.

When I speak about anxiety, I’m speaking to share, but also because I want to be a resource to anyone who is struggling.  When I talk about social media comparison culture, it’s because I want to be part of changing this culture. In those moments, I am working for a higher purpose.

When I posted about feeling lost, confused, and unhappy, I simply shared because I wanted to be real.  I wanted to take off the mask for a moment and say my honest truth without trying to put a spin on it. And telling the truth, for no reason than wanting to show reality, is really scary.  It leaves you at your most vulnerable, but those are the moments that matter.

I don’t think we tell the truth enough.  I don’t think we’re real enough, with ourselves or others, enough.  We always have an agenda or are trying to put a spin on things. Right now, I’m conquering my fears by just telling my truth.  No spins, no masks, just me.

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My take on Content Creators

My take on Content Creators

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about social media terms, specifically content creator.  I consider myself a content creator, not an influencer. To me, social media is this amazing platform to make and show art.  Some people raise an eyebrow at this: how is posting some photos of yourself (that mainly other people took) considered art?

I think this objection is fair to raise and definitely why people still laugh a bit at the term content creator.  There’s so much behind the scenes though that people don’t realize in terms of Instagram, blogs, and Youtube. For example, every Instagram photo is often meticulously planned out– the subject of the photo may not have taken it themselves, but you can trust that they definitely envisioned.  Everything post-production is that person. Lightroom definitely makes this editing process easier, but I have spent hours so far playing around with my presets trying to get them just right. Then, there’s the captioning– for me, I see my captions as an opportunity to write a mini-blog post and share my message with everyone who might not read the blog.  It’s my way to get my message to them. Then, for youtubers and bloggers, there’s the putting together of the main product: the video and blog post. Both of those take a long time. I currently have multiple blog posts in the works that are going on their third or fourth rewrite: it’s not a fast process. I’m working to get everything just right in how I present my ideas and while it’s awesome to work for myself, it’s also difficult as I have to enforce deadlines on myself.

Despite that defense of Instagram and other Internet platforms as content creation, I still understand the objection and I often feel like I’m not really creating enough.  I often feel like I could be sharing more with the world, which is what this post is really all about. I love photography and many people may think my camera is only in hand for someone to take some blog photos, it’s really in hand so I can take photos of everything around me.  Today, I want to start sharing some of those photos. I’m going to try to share more of my photography on my blog and occasionally, Instagram too. To me, this goes a deeper level of content creation and gives me that satisfaction of having a creative outlet. Here are some of my favorite photos from this weekend: