Staying Authentic in the Age of Social Media

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Social media is ruining us. We have thousands and thousands of people telling us how we should think, feel, how we should act, and imagine what Ralph Waldo Emerson would have to say if he were alive during the time of Instagram, Twitter, and a 24-hour news cycle.

The worst part of all this is if you manage to drink the goblet of one philosophy and then that becomes your only philosophy, essentially becoming a one-trick pony of intellectual discourse, never able to expand beyond the confines of that set of dogma.

Recently, I’ve become aware of the fact that because I’m a white male of a certain age, modern society will view me in a certain way because I’m part of the patriarchy. Who knew? I didn’t even get a membership card! I sometimes wonder exactly what the patriarchy has done for me. Did it help me when I was poor, hungry, couldn’t afford to finish college, and had to go through every life struggle that everyone else has to go through?

In a world that attempts to label us, categorize us, and place us neatly into boxes, there comes a time when we must bravely state – this is who I am. Irrespective of the stereotypes associated with our skin color, our gender, or any other label society chooses to attach. Our struggles, our victories, our dreams and desires, they belong to us. They are uniquely ours, and they should not be dictated by the world’s preconceived notions of what we ought to be.

In the grand scheme of things, isn’t it more rewarding to be remembered as someone who lived their truth, instead of someone who merely conformed? After all, the richest tapestries are those that appreciate and incorporate every thread, every color, every texture – unique, yet contributing to the whole. So, here’s to being okay with who you are, even if you’re a white male in today’s world.

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