I've seen it, you've seen it, heck my mom has even noticed it, Instagram is flooded with the "#liveauthentic" hashtag, and has been for quite some time.
On the surface, it's something we can all agree with and get behind. We should always strive for authenticity, for honesty, for transparency. Of course in its inception, the idea was pure, genuine, and something to be proud of (at least I think).
But then something happened, as it often does on social media,
A #liveauthentic culture was born, instead of a culture of living authentic. Sorry, that might be confusing, but do you know what I mean? Oftentimes, and especially on platforms like Instagram, the trends that influencers start end up just being pseudo-versions of what they set out to create in the first place. The result, though there is some good, is an overwhelmingly artificial movement centered around "me." I want people to constantly think what "I" am doing is special, I want people to know that "I" am special, that "I" am different. What we fail to realize is that in our effort to achieve "#liveauthentic," we are sacrificing every element that truly makes us authentic.
This reminds me of a quote I heard at a CreativeMornings Louisville event,
In this quote, Rachael Banks was juxtaposing her career as a photographer to the trends that inevitably ensue photography. The truth is, we are healthier, and more authentic when we create and share from a place of love, not fabrication. We should not feel the need to brand our intentions in order for us to know that they are real. Hashtags are helpful, they connect us, they can inspire us, but do not let hashtags be what validate you. The moment you believe in that lie, is the moment you've already lost the struggle of "living authentic."