If you’ve been following me on any social media channel, you’ve likely noticed that while I’ll post things from time to time that may raise eyebrows, my online life, for the most part, is carefully curated. Every status update, every tweet, every hyper-edited photo – everything is illustrative of the best version of myself.
I could even argue that my edited online life has made me seem even more vanilla than my real one.
I can’t imagine I’m the only one who has to approve every photo before I’m tagged. The only one who edits an “overheard” to be even funnier than the original, thereby defeating the spirit of the idea. The only one who has been known – on occasion – to gut-check the funny factor of future tweets before they’re tweeted. The only one who sometimes uses two photo-editing apps to add even more filters to this not-always-gorgeous face.
Social media has become the great instigator of vanity. Why are we so afraid to show our real selves? Why must our online avatars reveal only the most polished versions of ourselves, when the natural one is actually probably better. More endearing. More raw. More honest.
Why can’t we just, for once, allow ourselves to even look a little ridiculous?
A few months ago, I reactivated my Match.com profile. However, I never, ever go on dates. Not for lack of invites – though admittedly, not always from the most eligible of bachelors – but because I have this irrational fear that the image I’ve portrayed online is too perfect in comparison to reality. That because of the discrepancy between my online and offline, I’m a bit of a sham.
Here’s the strange thing, though – offline, I am a confident, joyful, outgoing, happy, sometimes-ridiculous person. It’s never been hard for me to make connections with people, and quickly. So while my Match profile shows photos from a few years ago where I’m a bit tanner, skinnier and more blond (like that matters), what it fails to show is that behind those younger pictures lies an insecure, unhappy Megan. That the Megan I am now – albeit paler, rounder and more brunette (GASP!) – is the happiest, best version.
So in my attempt to change my online life, I’m committing to showing you the good, the bad and yes, even the very, very ugly. Because sometimes I am. Sometimes we all are. But at least ugly is real. Not every photo will be airbrushed beyond recognition. Not every status update will be funny, or even meaningful. I’m committing to show a much more honest view of who I am offline. Which, I can promise you, is much better than who I am online.
Won’t you join me in letting yourself look a little ridiculous? Here, I’ll go first (*Editors’s Note: HOLEEESHIT. I can’t believe I just posted this).