The influx of social media networks, sophistication of applications and the reliance on the internet has caused American society to have an obsessive relationship with personal branding. Regardless of the media platform, a devoted attention to ensuring that we “look” a certain way has become an American priority.
The question then becomes, “What are you really like?” versus this premeditated fixed view of what others are supposed to believe. In order to appear perfect to the online world, people are spending inordinate amounts of time tweaking their Pinterest boards and Instagram filtered photos, formulating their tweets and posts to make sure that they are projecting this idyllic persona of who they want to be.
Who are you really though? Do you love taking long car rides and to clear your thoughts and spending time with your Mom. Do you secretly stay in some nights watching entire seasons of your favorite pastime TV shows by yourself, enjoying every moment of it. Be that person. What’s wrong with who you actually are? There isn’t a problem using these applications to share with your friends and spread your passions, but let that be it. Stop obsessing about what people you don’t even know think about you, and start considering what the people that you actually do know think about you. Are you a good friend? Do you try to be kind and considerate? Do you pursue meaning in your life? Those are things that matter. It’s fantastic that 75 people liked a photo of you in leather pants, but how many of these people could you call for a cup of coffee on a rainy day. And more so, how many of these people would you genuinely enjoy spending that hour with? Relish your real life relationships.
If people don’t like who you actually are, then screw them. The wonderful thing about this world is that it is filled with all different types of people with different passions. Find them, let them find you, but be yourself. Brand yourself to be someone you respect, someone who you are, and someone who you actually like. At the end of the day, life is short; you might as well spend it being the best and most honest version of your actual self. I bet that person is pretty “cool.”