An Online Identity Crisis & What it Means To Be “real”

I was very much tempted to write a script for this blog post, to have it all perfectly laid out with a beginning, middle and end, and even more so with images and graphics, but the more I do that, the more I feel out of touch with this huge topic that has taken over our lives since the dawn of the Internet.

But I wont, because in their truest forms, words are all that are necessary.

WhenLifeAwakens

An Online Identity Crisis & What it Means to be ‘real’

Part of me is surprised that this topic wasn’t discussed way back when, but then again, who knew about 20 years ago social media, technology and advances that we can hardly believe exist, would reach this extent. I mean isn’t it crazy that some of us have careers all relating to internet-content, connecting with others, living the dream in an expensive, large house with beautiful partners, decor and flatlays.

What a wonderful dream to dream.

But there’s only so much we can take, we can have our picture perfect lives all scheduled to display themselves to the world at exactly 3pm on a weekday afternoon (because that’s when more people will be available to see them), but picture-perfect lives aren’t real, they never were. Take it from me, I can see all the healthy morning and night routines all perfectly portrayed to a T, and a few weeks after you do them. boredom takes hold and you’re left with a portion of your life spent on autopilot.

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It should never have been about perfection, but rather the beauty, rawness and balance needed to achieve a life worth living.

What comes next you can only imagine, a full-blown identity crisis, people stop loving you because they get bored too, you start seeing the flaws and little imperfections in the way you create, it what starts the trend you see in most young YouTubers, moving country, cutting and dyeing hair, all to salvage or perhaps to re-create another version of themselves that could appeal to the masses. Or maybe to even seem ‘real’, but at this point, reality seems out of reach, a slight touch of abnormality hinges upon life.

As someone who also curates content for the masses, definitely not the masses over on YouTube but still an audience nonetheless, I too am guilty of falling prey to making it seem like everything is perfect, not much of what is on my social media displays my private life, or even my recent struggles. I’ve been thinking about my own online identity crises (because you can never have enough), and it strikes me as strange that we all strive towards perfection, even myself a recovering perfectionist, that we don’t stop to consider reality.

At times I feel ashamed, the people I create for don’t have their own blogs to worry over, so why should I want to display my struggles? Yet, I want to be more real, but should I? Is that what’s really relatable or, real?

Reality is perceived differently by everyone, we all see things the way we want to see them, our lives shaped by our experiences, our parent’s experiences, our morals and values and the people we hold most dear to us, is what makes our realities different. To some, reality could be that picture-perfect version of life on Instagram and for others, nothing may seem as foreign. So being real means you reach these crossroads where nothing makes sense and everything becomes chaos, and getting too deeply stuck can lead to philosophically-induced existential crises.

So what does it mean to be real? For so long we’ve focused on what others perceive as real and we mould ourselves perfectly to fit that, yet nothing could be more dangerous than fitting into someone else’s moulds of life, because when the real you comes shining through, they’ll run in horror (an exaggeration, but they’ll definitely notice and I can’t say they’ll be too happy about it), so you do what feels the most truthful.

You become you.

We all strive to be different that that no-one knows what it means to be themselves, and by being different, you’re essentially becoming the same as everyone, the craziest, yet most widely seen in life, of contradictions. We begin to search for ourselves and then we dare to be ourselves, online and hope that people accept us. We still think we need acceptance, but we don’t.

We can exist without acceptance from outsiders, but cannot without internal acceptance. Trust me, we’ve all tried.

So be real, be authentically yourself in the all the ways you wish to be, let it speak to be world that you will not be defeated and live in ways you could have only dreamt of.



© Afiyah/WhenLifeAwakens, 2019. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Afiyah/WhenLifeAwakens with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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