How To Stay Authentic Online

I’ve been thinking about authenticity a lot lately — what authenticity means to me emotionally and personally, what it means in my career, to my “personal brand”, and to my online persona.

I work so hard IRL to be authentic to myself — I’ve always felt out of step with the world, I came out of the womb with an innate desire to go against the grain and to question both authority and society standards — yet on social media, I curate an image of my life that doesn’t necessarily reflect that.

Never in my life did I EVER care about “being popular”, yet on the internet, I want MORE followers, MORE likes, MORE traffic.

What I see is a girl who lives a polished life full of stylish clothes, fancy handbags, snobby coffee, good eats, and luxurious travel.

Is that all I am?

What do you really even know about me, if we’ve never met in real life?

How do I present an authentic version of myself online — and what if no one likes it?

What is the version of “me” am I supposed to show?

Who am I?

Which parts am I supposed to keep to myself and which parts am I supposed to show you?

In a world that’s constantly bombarded with “fake news” and terror attacks  —  do we want to escape online in anonymous world that’s separate from reality, or do we want authenticity with each other?

If followers and likes didn’t matter, who would you be?

That’s who you show the world.

So, how do I be myself online?

I don’t have a magical formula for making you gain followers online or how to get more traffic to your blog.

I don’t even know why we’re doing those things. Is there money on the other end of it?

Are we bored? Are we addicted? Or do we just want more of everything?

What I can tell you about being authentic online, and what’s worked for me, is being your fucking self.

That sounds so dumb to write, but for some reason the idea of it gets lost.

If that means you livestream video games on Twitch for six hours every night, that sounds awesome.

If that means you join twenty-five Facebook Groups about each one of your weird, niche interests, I recommend it.

If that means you join an online community for erotic fiction, go for it.

If that means you get on Instagram Stories and cry, do it.

If that means you post two selfies in a row because you like how you look, do it.

If that means your hair/room/makeup/life isn’t perfect in every picture you post, so be it.

If that means you write a blog post about how awful your day was, just do it.

Real life isn’t perfect.

Real life isn’t curated.

Real life is HARD.

Our lives are full of struggle; yet struggle is an essential part of the human experience.

The best way to overcome that struggle? Connecting with others.

Find people to connect with.

Find a tribe.

Find a community.

Find your thing.

Find anyone.

While the Internet sure has some real downsides (being addicting, most notably), it also enables us to connect with people that we would otherwise never meet in real life.

I’ve made some of my best friends online because we connected over a shared interest or a shared struggle. I have countless conversations every single day over Instagram DM, Facebook Messenger, and iMessage with people I’ve connected with—all because I shared my story with them online and something I said resonated with them.

People thank me for being honest and real.

People want honesty. People crave authenticity. They want to hear the real stories and the real things we’re going through.

Stop trying to be like everyone else and post the real shit that’s happening in your life.

Really into skincare right now because you kept breaking out and you have wrinkles on your forehead already? Post about what products you’re using.

Trying to find a new job? Talk about it. I bet someone has advice (or maybe they can even refer you to a job!).

Thinking about going back to school but scared shitless about loans/applying/majors/literally everything? Maybe someone you know did it already and has some advice.

Really into neuroplasticity? Teach your friends about it too.

Super into SoulCycle? Post about it, and location tag it to find new friends that do it too.

Tired of going on walks alone? Make a post about looking for a walking buddy.

Going through post-partum depression? Talk about it. You might be able to help someone.

Battling mental health? Slay that stigma and write about it.

Whatever battle you’re fighting right now—someone else has fought a similar one. You aren’t alone.

Break down the metaphorical walls of the internet and online personas and maintaining a cohesive Instagram feed and just…

Just be your fucking self.


Author: Becca Risa Luna

Seattle-based fashion writer and personal essayist. Likes designer handbags, glaring openness, and subtle vulgarity.

6 thoughts

  1. I have been struggling with these thoughts too. So, I decided to start a 30-Day Challenge where I talk about my dreams and questions I have in life. In my latest blog posts, I decided to point out 10 random things about myself and I wanted to be as authentic as I am in real life. Because in real life, I am not really a tolerant person and somehow on my blog and Instagram I seem to be the sweetest person alive, what is so inaccurate.
    Congratulations girl on this post♥️


  2. Love this! It can be hard to see other people gain hundreds/thousands of followers quickly when I’m not, but I have formed some amazing online friendships through blogging/instagram. I wouldn’t trade those friendships for 10,000 unengaged followers! It’s all about being yourself and connecting with others through that.


  3. cant agree with you more on this subject. I struggle with following people on IG and then meeting them in person. It’s seems very fake. They have a guard…you can tell right away. It’s weird. I Try to be myself in person and on Social meds…It’s hard because people expect you to be perfect like the photos you post. What I loved about meeting you in person, was you were exactly how I imagined you would be. So I call you a friend even tho it’s only been a short while.


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