Online authenticity

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Swearing, it’s not big, it’s not clever, but it is authentic.

That is a quote from Terence Eden who has just managed to find is way into the geek tech news theatre after his Tumblr page I don’t want you f***ing app gained a fair amount of viral attention over the last few weeks.

In his blog post, talking about the hype around the page, he comments on the title saying that the dramatic swearing is entirely an over-reaction, with the aim to denote the humour intended by the site, but also the emotion behind it. He argues that over the last few years the internet has become as “emotionally neutral as possible” in case our boss see that blog post or tweet. We have become scared to express our feelings online, in Terence’s case this was annoyance about certain sites ‘doorslamming’ users in an attempt to make them download their apps.

It is interesting because it is something that I have been noticing more of recently. Yes the doorslam, but more importantly that online there is a trend towards blog posts and social media posts without personality and authenticity I agree that there needs to be wisdom employed when pushing stuff online, and no body really likes that person who over shares, but I am getting more disengaged with people who push up content that appears to have gone through a PR machine.

In some respects what I have been doing with this blog over the last month or so is a reaction against that; by posting something each day I am trying to display a bit of my life, the things that I am doing, the things I care about. The majority of these things are not spectacularly exciting, but it is my life.

I think what I want to see a real human at the end of my Twitter or Facebook feed. That these people care about things, that they are emotive, that that find stuff fun, but also that they find stuff sad. Honesty online is a rare commodity at the moment.

Perhaps one of the reasons that we are not honest online is because the people on our Facebook friend list are not actually our friends, but instead people we know… and therefore we don’t really want trust them. Alternatively, perhaps we just want to present the best looking version of ourselves, those times where we’re instagramming cycling past beautiful scenes rather than the days when the cycle home is just miserable and wet… On a similar topic there was an interesting post on the Relevant Magazine a couple of months ago saying some very interesting things which is worth a read - Instagram’s Envy Effect.

I’m still thinking this one though. There is a lot to think about, and a lot for me to apply to what I post online. If anyone has any thoughts on this topic, or links to useful articles to read please do share them in the comments.

Typically just as I am about to post this I’ve just noticed that the Jeskes’ have just had a fantastic blog post on this topic published on Relevant Magazine. I recommend reading that one too - How Social Media Made Me a Better Person.

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