The Complexities of Authenticity and Influence on Social Media

I have a complicated relationship with social media. On one hand, I deeply appreciate its power to connect people and spread ideas. On the other, I’m concerned by how it can distort genuine human relationships. When I was younger, I dreamed of being a comedian – not for fame or money, but because performers like Steve Martin, Richard Pryor, and Eddie Murphy inspired me.

Their comedy felt like a calling more than a career. Over time, I’ve realized some people view relationships very differently than I do. To them, connections are means to an end – whether climbing the social ladder or gaining clout. They assign value based on metrics like wealth and popularity. I don’t fault these people, but this transactional worldview is foreign to me. I prefer to engage online with authenticity, even if it limits my reach and exposure. Of course, it’s not always simple to balance authentic expression and broad influence on social media. Post too much about your values, and you become a target for trolls. Stay silent, and you lose the chance to meaningfully connect. As my visibility grows, I’m reflecting on how to navigate these challenges. How can I stay true to myself while also expanding my positive impact? Are there principles that can guide what I share and with whom I engage? Curious to hear your thoughts and experiences grappling with these tensions. My hunch is that with care and courage, we can leverage social platforms to bring more light into the world – without losing ourselves in the process. But it’s a delicate balance I’m still figuring out.