Why Do Our Online Personas Always Have To Be Happy?

Online personas - smiling outfit photo; leopard print playsuit, black tights & dr marten boots

Here we are again on mental health awareness week which this year is focused on body positivity. To be honest I don’t feel as a skinny white girl I’m the most appropriate person to talk about that subject so I’m going to touch upon something that has been bugging me recently; why do our online personas have to be so damn happy?

Okay so I’ve been having a pretty low patch recently (yay hormones) which has got me thinking & also noticing how positive our online personas seem to be. I totally get it! We all want to show our best selves, especially online where we are so open to judgement but isn’t it all a bit fake?

Its beginning to feel a little forced right now & maybe that’s just because I can’t be arsed with social media myself or maybe it’s just time to address the falseness. We all recognise a fake smile or an over edited feed but we rarely address why we feel the need to do it.

Let’s take for example the curated feed which damn these influencers are killing right now. They are creating an online space which is building their career so I’m in no way trying to bash that but it does also have a insta vs reality debate. Everything they present online is curated to fit their theme & online persona which sometimes means you don’t see the real crap behind the scenes.

I went to Amsterdam early this year & as much as I wanted to visit for the Anne Frank house I was drawn in by the curated images from fellow bloggers. The reality was very different (partially because of the time of year) & it just didn’t have the wow factor I was expected. Yes I loved the canals & how different they were to my everyday life but I had seen such beautiful pictures taken by creators that I was a little underwhelmed on the whole.

You can’t really blame creators for this false sense of “life” because we all bloody do it. Our online personas are created to fit a mould we want & present ourselves how we wish. We all want people to see our lives in a certain light & social media is very much more about validation that being social these days.

I’m not saying we all have to be miserable or show our darkest times online but it would be nice to not feel pressured to be happy online all the damn time. From the looks of it my audience agrees because my posts that are more open & raw do get higher engagement. It’s not all about the “you do you boo” or “you’re so brave” comments its a real chat where people relate.

I think the most important thing we should be worrying about when creating online personas is can people relate to them? Are they your authentic self? Because eventually a false persona will box you in & don’t you want to build an audience who relates to you; the real you rather than a curated you?

I’m going to continue being my authentic self online & sometimes that means being open about my struggles. It also means sometimes I’ll slip away from social media because it’s not for me right then. I’m happy to say my online persona is pretty damn close to who I am in real life. Just with better hair & a preset applied!

Online personas - smiling outfit photo; leopard print playsuit, black tights & dr marten boots

Sunglasses: Primark | Turtleneck: Boohoo | Leopard playsuit: Primark | Tights: Primark | Boots: Dr Martens

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Shelley xx

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