Seeking Authenticity

Animated gif of woman and dog at a park in winter

In the past week, I’ve seen several friends mention that they miss seeing/sharing raw moments of life. It’s no secret that many of us seek authenticity in our lives. But it seems more and more of us (average web users, influencers, and business owners) are serving content displaying our best selves. We’re using our (limited) knowledge of how Facebook’s algorithms work to create content which will receive more engagement. We’re selecting from an album of curated images. We’re hopping on the daily/weekly trends of Throwback Thursdays and Manic Mondays. We’re signing off our YouTube videos with “See you in the next one. Peace.”

We are becoming data-driven robots which feed AI that will take over all our current jobs and actions. We need to return to the days of being unique. Instead of trying to imitate someone successful — including their catchphrases — why not put your own unique style on it. Or reach for the stars and be VERY WEIRD. If you have dreams, desires, or odd quirks, then embrace them. Share them with others in your life. Share them in your online feeds if you’re comfortable with a larger audience.

Pasquale on not being a bot:

Businesses and Influencers may be able to mould their content to suit ever-smarter algorithms and sell enough products to be profitable. Being a content creator or influencer is just like any job: it can be exhausting and often overlap into your personal life… into your family time. It’s tough to keep a work-life balance when your life — whether tailored for the algorithms or not — is your job. However, I’m seeing many friends and peers deactivating Facebook for long periods, realising there’s more to life than being in front of a screen, and — as a person — it’s exhausting being an algorithm-tailored brand.

As a creative person, it can be tempting to make a polished vlog or Instagram Story, but we have to know our limits. Does our career require any published content to be “perfect”, or does our family need our attention outside of work hours? Each person reading this will have a different answer. I have piles of great content online. I also have many old photos and videos online which are much more amateur than my skills now. I’m proud of all of them though. I’ve worked until sunrise through countless days in my twenties; I’ve travelled near and far for conferences, weddings, and other work events; and I’ve neglected my health and friendships in the pursuit of another dollar. It’s been very challenging and I’m grateful for all of it.

I’m at a point in my life where I’m re-discovering who I am and what’s important to me. I seek unattainable perfection in my work less and less, and focus my attention on getting a job completed so that I can spend more time with my new family. It’s still hard to avoid getting roped into social media feeds, but a conscious effort can be a tremendous help. #nofilter on personal content creation can help move your life story along with more consistency than a #perfectpost.

What are your quests for authenticity looking like these days?

Further reading


I want Good News Week online!

Dear Channel 10,

I’ve pretty much always loved you (and Channel 7; CH9 sucks). Hence, I hope we can come to some agreement with my following proposal.

First, I’ll give you a brief back story.

I’ve watched Good News Week off and on over the years. I recall having a few chuckles, but I’ve never watched an entire season; I only really watched it if I happened to be in front of the television and it was on. I’m 23, so in previous seasons I may not have understood the full extent of the jokes/stories/games, and I might appreciate those older episodes now. I’m also a geek, and I would prefer not to buy DVDs anymore; downloads all the way.

I happened to watch 99% of Good News Week episode one for 2010. I laughed my brains out! Sure, the foam was nuts, but the episode as a whole was awesome! Then, tonight, I watched about 95% of the episode (for 5% I was distracted by a phone call which I initiated) and enjoyed it just as much as the first one. Pure chaos!

Here’s my proposal.

I’m heading to the United States of America tomorrow, and I’ll be there for more than a year. I’d rather not let the rest of Australia enjoy GNW without me, moreover I want it available online.

I know the podcast (6:23 truncated episodes) is available for free on iTunes, but I want the full episodes. If that means I have to pay $10 (c’mon, please be reasonable) for a ‘season pass’, then I’d plonk down the cash so quickly you’ll wish you’d done this sooner!

*SCREEEEETCH!*

Okay, ignore my proposal. I just looked in iTunes and Season 3, episode 1, of GNW is available. Good!

Wait. The season pass is AUD$92.99?! How many episodes is that? The entire season 2 is only twelve episodes and I could buy that season for AUD$15.99 — that is far more reasonable than almost $100! There must be a glitch on the season pass, right? It’s not even in high definition!

If you put the season pass down to $15, then I’m in. Otherwise, explain yourself, or it looks like I’ll find it by other means.

I love the show, so keep up the great work, and don’t forget that Aussies live overseas too!

Giddy,
Derek Steen

(For everyone else: If you haven’t seen Good News Week before, I highly suggest you preview the show by checking out the podcast on iTunes. If you enjoy it, then rally with me to get season 3 cheaply available on iTunes/online worldwide (it’s currently only in the Australian iTunes store, here).

Both Channel 10 and Good News Week are @ChannelTen and @gnwtv, respectively, on Twitter.)