I will be the first person to admit I censor and edit a lot of what I choose to put online, partially because I guess its my job to be online, but mainly because I feel like I have to. There are always images I find beautiful but feel I am unable to post online. Its funny how so many of us now have social media 'themes' myself included. Meaning all our images have to pass a virtual check list before they are even considered for being posted online.
Sadly I don't think its exclusive to those who share their lives online, we live in a technical and social age, where everyone has at least some aspect of their lives shown online. Its all fun and games with all the memes online about how many photos you get your boyfriend/girlfriend or friends and family to take of you before your night out, but no one likes a bad photo of them online. Now, when you meet someone new, you add them on Facebook or follow then on Instagram which is then followed by some 'light stalking' so its natural for us to only want pictures online of ourselves we actually like.
I shoot a lot more than most people for the content for my blog, and its funny how sometimes when I ask opinions of family or friends of which images they prefer, more often than not they choose at least one of me I would not have wanted to use. The way we perceive ourselves is nothing like the way we come across to others. I went through a period a few years ago when I got very body conscious. It was right at the beginning of when my following began to grow and I started to realise people actually had an eye on the content I created. Being online, you are always open to the more dark side to the wonder that is the Internet... There really are some nasty people in this world, who really have nothing better to do than to belittle those they see online.
As much as you can pretend things like this don't bother you, they aren't something you forget easily. I remember a few years ago, someone set up an Instagram account purely to repost all the content that I posted with horrific captions, criticising me as a person and telling me to kill myself numerous times. I am not the type of person to take this on board, but if this is what happens online, its no wonder we are always a little conscious of what it is we are posting. Even in a non 'job' sense, any images online are open to the criticism from those you know and those you don't.
Its funny how silly some things can feel when you have time to look back at it. I've been blogging for about 4 years now, and its really amazing to me how many times I tried to conform over the years. I tried the perfect feed, I tried the all white backgrounds (to the point when I spent hours and hours editing photos, only for them to be received worse than those I didn't bother on). Thats the crux of it all really, most people follow people because they are genuinely interested in them as people, especially online personalities. I would much rather see a cute as hell candid shot of some of my favourite bloggers and celebrities on their sofa in their pyjamas with a cup of tea than some of the ridiculously posed crap you see online sometimes. Don't get me wrong, I adore me some editorial content, and infact its some of my favourite content to create as I find it one of my favourite creative outlets. But sometimes, its okay to actually just be yourself online, united and untouched.
I think I first started doing this with the outfits I was showing to you all. I used to always go with the trends I was seeing other bloggers doing, but I soon began to feel really deflated and ridiculously unconfident in the outfits I was shooting. I even found it hard to put the outfits together in the first place. Ive always pushed the idea you should wear what you feel comfortable and confident in, and this is something I actually listened to myself. I sometimes put things on specifically to look a certain way, but all in all, I am really comfortable in the clothes I wear and it really effects how you see yourself.
Overthinking what you portray to those around you and strangers online will be the death of our generation. We are so obsessed with how we look and the opinions of our peers, we construct these versions of ourselves that are often far from who we really are. Its unfair to be surrounded by these people online with 'ideal' lives. I watched a short video a couple of days ago about how social media will be the death of relationships and one thing said really resonated with me. "We are a generation of comparing our 'behind the scenes' to someone else 'best bits'". Thats it really, we edit ourselves to be a 'best bits' reel, almost like a film, something produced and edited for mass consumption. Think about it, what sort of madness is that? It's our lives and our 'movie' but we spend so much time worrying about whether the content is what those around us want to see.
I am going to make a conscious effort this year to try and be completely honest with my content, and to stop feeling the need to fine-tune everything I put online. That doesn't mean to say you have to be more personal with what you put online, just that if you feel you have to double check or veto what you're putting online for the opinions of others, don't. I will be doing the same.