Your Online 'voice'. How much is too much(or to little) to share?!

I've had a convo with one of my friends today back and forth via message about how people portray very different versions of themselves online compared to their 'real' life.
The reason it all started was because I posted on Monday about not fitting into a 'niche' and that it turns out you kind of don't need one when you're yourself. Obviously the super successful blogs and business women of the world seem to fit nicely into their 'niche' so it's sort of hard for someone like me and I often wonder how the hell I can stand out and 'make it work' when I don't have a particular group my business or personality fits into. So when my friend told me that I truly am transparent and show all the colours of my personality and gave me the most lovely compliments(thanks beautiful girl BTW), It led us to a conversation about a public figure who has released a book...No I'm not saying who this person is because I'm not a complete ass and I am actually really happy they are addressing some of the issues they have written about in their memoir... but she(my friend) felt upset that this person has kind of 'sold' their audience a certain 'way of life' that is the absolute basis of their business and why they are so successful, and recently came out with a sort of 'tell-all' book about what they really have been through and what they go through daily. And it completely contradicts the life they have publicly created, and that life and lifestyle they're selling is directly why their business is so successful. My friend felt completely portrayed. She spent 3 years trying to adapt this way of living into her own lifestyle because the promise of better mental clarity and health was always a guarantee by this very public figure, and my friend had just finished their book, and spent the last 3 years not taking anti depressants because this person basically sold the world the idea of 'live exactly like me and you will be healthier and happier and live longer and not have medical issues because look how much I smile when I am on instagram'. And by reading their book my friend has found out this person the whole time they have 'sold' their lifestyle, is  not the 'healthy beacon' they portray to the world, but rocking in the corner not functioning without their valium every hour of the day. The book is an awakening to this personalities true self to their public perception. A very brave book. I think the book is very important and this story will help so so many, but at the same time it's actually a pretty dangerous thing as well, and people will feel betrayed like my friend because this person has implied on their public platform, that their way of life basically makes you the healthiest happy human ever, but forgot to tell everyone at the same time that 'ps...I can't function without anti-depressants so my way of life won't 100% heal you but it will be a great way to live and it will help....but it won't cure everything'....there was never a warning.
 And now they are proudly wearing their mental illness publicly everywhere, which is fantastic, I as everyone knows, am very loud online when it comes to my own mental health issues and I will be to the very end of my days because it's important, so they should do this,  but this public figure, never ever let the world know that although their healthy lifestyle helps their mental health, it's not a cure. Thousands of people, who like my friend  have almost 'lost' 3 years of their mental health because this person sold them 'their way of life' as a substitute for actual medicine my friend  really needs. Luckily she now see's that she has lived like this person told her to, down to the word almost and saw that her mental health wasn't magically fixed and now has medication, but she is one of the most intelligent people I know and her partner is a very well respected Dr, so if she can be persuaded into a 'healthy life healthy mind' by a public person, anyone can.
Yes we should all not just blindly follow the advice of someone who has heaps of healthy books out, we should seek medical advice, this personality has some serious science to back their shit up, but let me tell you something about mental illness as well...it's fucking irrational. My brain makes up the most random shit sometimes and I have zero fucking clue where it comes from or why it's thinking the way it is. That's the thing with mental illness, it's a tricky bitch and if someone comes along and says, 'eat this way, and live this way and you won't feel that horrible anxiety', an anxiety brain see's that and grips on for dear life and follows that person to the end of the earth because it's really fucking hard living with mental illness and we all just want to feel 'normal'. So many people would look up to this person and think 'fuck yes...I am going to live like that because their scientists backing shit up sound smart as fuck and they have a great tan and awesome abs and shiny hair and white teeth and never say they are anxious, they have such a happy healthy life, they must know exactly what the fuck they are talking about because look how perfect their life seems and how well adjusted their mental clarity looks to us all'. So it is dangerous coming out with a tell all book and showing the world you are the exact opposite of what the world thought you were because you never once hinted to the fact you too were suffering each day. And of all people, they should have really understood that too. Their audience could have been even bigger if they were a bit more 'themselves' from the get go. I follow this person and I have some of their books, and I've never been able to swallow the whole pill. I guess because its been 20 years of an anxiety disorder and mild depression at time, that I realise that YES a healthy life will in fact help a lot, but its not a 'cure'. Just like you could live exactly like this and to help with your diabetes but you still have to make sure you have medical treatment and insulin. Mental illness is the same. 
My point is this. Sorry I like to ramble..It's who I am and you just gotta roll with it guys sorry..not sorry...I'm a little bit sick of everyone being so fucking 'safe'. People are too scared to let their true personality out online. WHY? If this public figure had said from the get go, "guys..I have this amazing healthy way of living, and it's helping me in the most fantastic way, I would love to share it, but also, it's not a cure for everything. I am going through my own mental health journey that is very hard, and I don't want to share everything right now, but I'm in the anxiety gang guys,  and this way of life won't completely cure that  but I think it will help with some clarity and your health and I'll share more along the journey'. But they didn't. Not once. And now there are people out there just in shock because they followed this persons path, and I am in no way saying the path is bad. I actually believe their lifestyle is fantastic and we should all adapt our own lives to it, but this whole time they were suffering with mental illness, and a shitload of people could have really used that information from the beginning. And yes, its very relevant to their 'way of life'. The promise of mental clarity from this lifestyle is all apart of the sales pitch. So before you say , 'but Jayde thats private they don't have to share that'...its true, none needs to share every aspect of their life. But if you are selling a lifestyle that promises to help get rid of things like depression and anxiety, you need to be more upfront about it all. Plus, wouldnt that have helped sell books even more?! I could never quite fully get into it all because I don't believe 'just food' can 'cure' anxiety disorders. So If they said, they suffered terribly from anxiety and this fantastic way of life is really helping them and their mental health, then I would have been like "fuck YEAH what a legend. I am for sure going to look more into this"
What bothers me is not that they didn't share their whole truth in our faces from the beginning, it's  that why is sharing your personality or that you may have mental health issues or chronic pain or illness, or just feel a bit bitchy sometimes, or that you don't fucking care about going for a jog at 5am every day seen as a bad thing? People are so fucking scared to share their true selves 100% hell even 80% online and I don't know why?! 
 I get messages every week telling me I'm 'so brave' for sharing what I share?! I mean, thanks, that's so lovely of you, but its not brave. It's actually me..just being me. I am probably the extreme version of what we should all be like online, I know I am an oversharer, but I promise even I don't share it all. There are elements to my life I'm incredibly private about. But I'm private about them in real life too. It's not an exclusive online only privacy I keep. It's who I am its my personality. I can be a walking contradiction in real life. And I'm the same online. The point is, we need to be who we are 'in real life' the way we are online. I told my friend that if I had done what this public figure had done it would be like me releasing a book and in the book saying 'everything is fucking perfect and happy and sunshine and roses'...people would be shocked as fuck if they read that from me. They would question me because it's the complete opposite of who I am online and all of a sudden I say 'actually guys...everything is sweet. I don't in anyway have panic attacks and an anxiety disorder, I was just 'worried' sometimes'. See how people could get the shits over that?!
 When I write my book, about me one day, I don't want the world to have a fucking heart attack and be reading it like one shocking fictional story. I want them to read it and know the person they are reading about, but maybe get a little bit deeper into who I am and more stories. They should have surprises, but not be shocked and not read it like it's a completely different person. 
We all need to just stop fucking around acting like its all sweet and rosey, unless it's actually truly like that all the time, and just say and write and be who we are 'in real life' as we are on the inter webs. Because people...I want you to know a secret...online is pretty much real life now. So when you fuck around acting like you do yoga 17 times a day and meditate every hour on the hour online, when people meet you in real life and you're an asshole with out an ounce of 'zen' to you, and never even say the word yoga let-a-lone do it daily...you look like a dick. You loose credibility. Why are we so scared to be ourselves online? Why don't you do 1 month hell 1 week of being EXACTLY who you are. Write exactly like you talk. I shock no-one when I meet them. Sorry thats not true. People are sometimes shocked I'm EXACTLY like I am online. Because so many people aren't. I'm wearing my imperfect, coca-cola drinking, super swearing, large assed self online exactly the same as I do offline. And you should too. It's a really good feeling never having to 'keep up' with your imaginary self. I'm not smart enough to be 'not me'. Just do 'you' the best way you can. As yourself. 
 We know when it's not real. And the thing is, you don't have to be extreme. I know we have to be realistic still. I know that we still have to work and be employed I get that. Not everyone wants to fuck up potential employment opportunities. You don't need to put every single thought you have online every second of the day. But just be your personality when you do. Don't be scared to share the hard times. People respect it. I know I am a flight risk to some businesses and they won't risk working with me, and it sux, but the businesses that do, get me, they know exactly what they're getting and they don't have to be worried. My industry trusts me. My collaborations trust me. I've grown my business by being exactly who I am. I have had amazing job opportunities all the time. I am the most anxious person, the most manic person at times and I still get through it all. Because I tell you all about it. We need to be ourselves more. There is a big difference between sharing it all and being your true self. Just be your true self. Share your stories here if you need to. This LPLGang is the place where you can be you. You don't have to tell us all your secrets....but please just share your personality when you do share online. Its such a pleasure to meet someone and they are just exactly as they are when you are chatting online to them. 

Comments

  • Posted by Catriona on

    I am so sorry your friend feels betrayed but I find it confusing. I have followed and read a lot of the same persons stuff for many years and I never felt that she claimed to cure mental health issues. I think she improved another significant health issue that I have as well but not the mental health, in fact I always felt that “work in progress” was the bigger message. Perception is strange isn’t it? I have many of the same issues as the author you mean and have always felt inspired and informed by her messages. Looking after your health and improving your diet is always positive and never a waste of years, but I can imagine if I followed all the diet advice I might feel a bit different. I think being yourself is the best advice and finding out what works best for you with meds, diet and lifestyle are never going to be exactly like anyone else’s way. Love your work and love the community you gather. Thank you for being you in the you-est way.

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