How to Create & Post REAL Content Online
Updated: Apr 24, 2021
With apps full of over-processed pictures and videos with perfect filters, social media does not showcase authenticity. At least, most of the content on social media doesn't. While many people, celebrities, and influencers alike photoshop their faces and fine-tune every detail of each image, there are quite a few users that abhor "being fake." Most of these users share images that deter from the common practice of photoshopping; they post photos and videos displaying socially-defined "imperfections" with full-force. Many scroll past pictures of stretch marks and cellulite just as much as the hyper-photoshopped content of the Kardashians.
Personally, I love the content showcasing the normalcy and beauty of stretch marks and cellulite - as well as the content that shares about other "imperfections" as well. However, I also understand that "real and authentic" posts aren't always centered around the "imperfections" themselves. In fact, anyone who posts on social media can refrain from photoshopping their posts. Below is a list of how you can create content that abstains from over-processing and over-editing.
"Keeping it real" is important as it can improve mental wellness for both you and your followers. Whether your followers are an 'audience' or just your closest family members and friends, conveying authenticity online is more honest than not. Many people believe themselves to be "honest" individuals, however, they often choose to not be honest on social media. Sugar-coating reality isn't the most honest thing a person can do, now is it?
So many people spend hours on social media every single day, even when the over-edited content begins to take a negative toll on their mental health. It's important to take breaks from endlessly scrolling just as it is important to "keep it real."
Does your face look a little different in that one photo? Or, does your waist look "un-proportional" to your hips? I don't care. Human beings were not created to "look" like what we're expected to look like. It's truly not important to anyone that you look a certain way. When people care so much about what they themselves look like, everyone around them starts caring too much too. Insecurities are contagious, especially because self-judgment almost always leads people to judge others.
Act in ways that can help eliminate insecurities for yourself and others. There's a fine line between being insecure and being over-confident in yourself, and that line is called humility. Stop caring so much about what others think and start thinking about how you can care for others. Also, stop photoshopping your waist, your face, your boobs, your butt, your stomach, your arms, legs, hair, skin, etc. Stop photoshopping yourself and, please, if you're one of those people who photoshops your friends, please stop.
Photoshopped images share an artificial reality posed as reality. They are, essentially, cartoons posted among actual images. I mean, they aren't real! The worse part about it is that photoshopped pictures don't look like cartoons. Most of the time, people won't realize if an image has been altered unless the original creator blatantly lets their followers know. I assume that those who photoshop their images won't want 'to be caught' in their lie. They are so focused on presenting a certain version of themselves to others that they forget how others may perceive their photos. While there are some people who actually look like what they post on social media, there are many more who don't.
Photoshopping is never okay because it is dishonest. If "people shouldn't care what [you] look like," then why do you care so much?
Write Authentic Captions
I love it when people write good captions! Here's a quick guide to authentic caption-writing! Ask yourself:
Does my caption tell a real-life story?
Does my caption provide a legitimate 'behind the scenes' view of my image or video?
Does my caption convey kindness, goodwill, joy, or hope?
Does my caption call on myself and others to do something good? How can I encourage others to do something in a positive way?
Is my caption superficial? How can I change it or write non-superficial captions in the future?
Do your best to be kind, real, and altruistic online!
Post About Your Life, Not Just One Moment
Photographs are often referred to as "snapshots of time." A lot of high-profile celebrities and social media users will post "perfect" content and a two-word caption. These posts are as meaningless as they are 'cute.' Am I the only one who wonders: where was this photo snapped? Who else was there? How is this person doing, really?
In order to remind people that there's more depth to life than posed photos and captions like "f e e l i n g m y s e l f," I recommend giving a little bit more insight "behind the scenes." I understand a lot of people appreciate privacy. In that case, perhaps this piece of advice seems irrelevant to you. There's beauty in keeping your amazing personality available only to those who know you personally. Still, I hope you don't photoshop your posts. Keeping your privacy is cool, but being dishonest isn't.
If you're trying to build a brand online, especially an influencer-type brand, it is important to share authenticity as often as possible. For example, if I'm feeling kinda depressed while taking some boss-babe photos of myself, I'll let my audience know. I've recently started adding disclaimers on many of my recent posts. Now, my followers can read about how I only put a dress on to post about it (a lot of people do this - lolll).
We often read negative comments underneath even the most 'successful' posts. Trolls 'hate' on people they'd never speak negatively to face-to-face (at least, hopefully). It's quite a pathetic way to seek entertainment if you ask me! However, social media often disconnects so much from real life that, sometimes, the trolls can sneakily triumph in their unnecessary commentary.
I also recommend posting the unapproved photos - the ones you were never going to post. Post your favorites, and, in the same carousel post, share some of the ones you didn't like. Share some bloopers. I can guarantee people will be able to relate to your posts more, especially because your followers are people too. People like being able to relate to what they see online.
Whether you discuss it in your captions, images, or videos, posting more authentic details about a "snapshot" reminds your followers that people are more than what they share online. People live lives, and sometimes we forget that!
[originally published March 10 2021]