How to Be More Authentic on Social Media

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Authentic is the buzzword these days when it comes to job interviewing.  Recruiters will tell you to walk the fine line between "just be yourself" and "boldly promote your talents".  Somewhere in the middle is authenticity. 

But how about when it comes to your online presence- do others see the real you?

It’s worth a bit of reflection to consider how social media outlets like Twitter and LinkedIN fit into your career.  A savvy approach is to consider them as part of your total portfolio.  They should "fit" into the kind of person you want the world to see.

Don’t get me wrong- I’m all for social media and enjoy Facebook and the rest of the crew.  Still, many are finding that social media can feel overly self-promotish and a tad bit like reality tv- not actually real at all.

Consider the person who only posts photos to Instagram when things are good.  Follow them for a while and you’ll feel as if their entire life is one big party.  Newsflash: it isn’t.  They still put their shoes on the same way as you and me.  

Or, take the person who only rants on Facebook about the latest Democratic debate and how awful the candidates are (in their eyes).  Follow them for a while and you feel as if all they care about is finding a new issue to complain about.  

Quick tip: when you read something from someone else on social and it bothers you, it’s time to step back.  This may mean a week away or limiting your “checking” to once a day.  

Complete abstinence is easier than perfect moderation.
— St. Augustine

Seriously, you could do this if you wanted or needed to.  I recently deleted Instagram from my iPhone.  I was spending too much time checking for updates.  

Here’s some advice from others who suggest a more moderated approach to social media:

To conclude, we’re not suggesting dropping off of all social media outlets.  Rather, moderation is best.  Post to Instagram when you feel like it rather than because you feel you “should”.  Update your Facebook page because you want to instead of a response to guilt or as a way to procrastinate other more meaningful things.  

Do social on your terms.  You’ll feel more in control and I would be that you’ll come across as more authentic.