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

Friendship & Communication

It appears that sometimes being friends with people can be difficult for some. More people need to communicate with their friends and family frequently.

Excessive communication is better than little or no communication.

Here’s a video with more of my thoughts about this topic:

Do you fail at communication? Have tools like Skype increased your communication with friends and family? Share your thoughts below.

A Great Weekend

In the days — and even weeks — leading up to this past weekend I didn’t expect it to be anything special.

Rachel’s parents had organised to drive down from Fort Worth to visit us and attend SHSU’s first home game of the college football season. Mitch and I would attend the tailgate (free food!) and then head back to our apartment. That was the plan.

What actually happened

In the morning I cleaned up the apartment a bunch and ate some food. Mitch and Rachel also helped a little with the cleaning.

Rachel, Mitch, and I arrived at the parking lot where we were all going to meet. Mommy and Daddy Mayo arrived a few minutes later, and they had “brought the rain with them”. A little water never hurt anyone, and we all had umbrellas.

One of the first things I noticed from the car was two HUMONGOUS (military) helicopters resting on one of the grassy fields next to the tailgate. (I also noticed some retro 1950s cars up near the food.) I had never been close to a helicopter (of any kind) before, so I planned on having a look at some point during our tailgating adventure. Can you tell I’m a little boy?

It might be a good time to note that this is my first ever tailgate. I don’t watch or care for American football, and don’t ever plan on attending a game.

We all went on up and waited in line for food. Rachel and I then scouted the other tables to see what kind of food they had on offer. It appeared that the original table we were waiting in line at was probably the best, so we went back and waited with the others.

Long story short, we got food, ate it, got a little more food, ate that, then decided to all go an see a movie (“Wall Street”, specifically) rather than the original plan of the Mayos watching American football while Mitch and I went back to the apartment; the Mayos didn’t care for watching football in the rain; umbrellas were not allowed in the stadium and there’s no cover.

Here’s a video of my experience:

We all saw “Wall Street” at the local cinema. Review coming soon.

Everyone headed back to our apartment and Rachel’s parents got a bunch of chicken wings on the way back because we all really didn’t have that much food at the tailgate.

We planned on getting out the Seinfeld Scene It DVD game, but the season premiere Saturday Night Live was going to be on in about thirty minutes and Rachel suggested we watch that. She wanted to see it because Katy Perry was the musical act, and Rachel enjoys Katy Perry and the music she sings immensely.

SNL was entertaining. Personally, I don’t enjoy Katy Perry’s music, so I caught up on Twitter during those moments. After that everyone was pretty tired, so Rachel’s parents went back to their hotel nearby (it was their choice to stay there; we offered our bed).

On Sunday morning Rachel’s parents came over for breakfast. This is where things get really giddy!

I crisped some croissants in the oven while Rachel made bacon and sausages, her Dad made some eggs, and her Mom cut up some apples. Then we all sat down and consumed some rather large portions of food (see photo of mine below). I even ate a full1 portion of scrambled eggs for the first time in about fifteen years; I’m a picky eater — this is an accomplishment!

Sunday Breakfast with Mayos

We found out that there was an Oktoberfest down in The Woodlands, so we all got in one car and traveled down.

As you can see, there was some music, food, and that was about it.

After we spent a couple of hours at Oktoberfest we headed over to Hubbell & Hudson down the road and drooled over many of the products there. We snacked on many of the samples (including jalapeño lemonade; surprisingly tasty) and ended up getting just a few things to try on Sweet Adventures.

1. On my V Australia flight to LAX in March, 2010, they had a small portion of scrabbled eggs between a bunch of peas and corn in the breakfast meal, and I ate the whole portion of eggs.