The Age of Transparency
Transparency. When we hear this word, I am sure that it evokes all types of feelings of goodwill towards the person who is being “transparent”. In the age of social media, people everywhere crave transparency for various reasons. One reason is because the anonymity that social media allows, has ushered in a flurry of people pretending to have lives that they most assuredly do not have –the age of the influencer. There are people in the world of Instagram and Facebook that have created personas of who they would like to be, who they want people to believe they are, who they think people will like, or a combination of all three. With that said, I can completely understand the need and the desire that we all have when it comes to people being honest about who they really are and the lives that they really lead.
When people are transparent, it can create a sense of belonging and community in others. When people are open about similar experiences, it takes away the feeling of isolation. I really do believe in the power of transparency and how beneficial it can be for people. But there’s a but.
I have seen that as people have become more and more transparent about their lives, the reasons for why we want that transparency from people has changed. Also, some people only value certain types of transparency. There are those of us that desire and want transparency around us because we genuinely want to make sure we aren’t losing it. We feel connected, in a sense, to other people when we are going through similar experiences. Somehow, knowing that someone else is facing the same challenges, gives us strength and solidifies are belief that we can and will be okay. But what I have seen is an uptick in people who want to know that you are having challenges and difficulties so they can feed their egos. I really think this is a result of the prevailing school of thought that someone must lose for me to win. They want to see your losses and your fails so they can critique your life in contrast to how they are doing. There are also people who will rate your level of transparency to decide if it is valuable enough. Many times, these people only want to know about the mess or drama of your life and very rarely celebrate your wins. I blame reality TV. It seems, the messier or the more troublesome your experiences seem to be, the more people like it and show their gratitude for your “authenticity”.
But let me free you.
You DO NOT have to invite people into your life if you don’t want to, and whatever you do choose to be transparent about is your business. If you want to be transparent about your marriage and not about your struggle with weight loss, completely fine. If you want to be transparent about your mental health issues and not your struggles with motherhood, do you! You don’t owe these people anything. If you want to live your entire life in private, so be it. One thing I have learned about people is that we are FICKLE! We get bored easily and our ability to find joy and purpose in lives that are simple, is almost non-existent. It is so easy to feed into the trends of our times and end up focusing on things that you never set out to do. Today, when I feel the pull of societal expectations, I shut EVERYTHING down and find time to reconnect with my WHY. Why did I start this? Why am I doing this? Practicing this grounding behavior is what stabilizes me. It would be dishonest of me to say that I never feel the desire to camouflage myself in mainstream social media. I do. However, my overarching desire is to be myself in all that I do. You might get different versions of me at any point in time, but they are ALL me.
Anyway, my reasons for writing this were purely selfish as this post is for me. It can be for you too if you relate to it in any way. Now go be transparent or not. Share a little or share a lot. The choice is completely yours.
One thought on “Transparency”
Some people fake until they make it and some people are just fake. I thank God for my journey and I am not afraid to say where I started from. Good old Trio/Salters, SC!