What does ‘genuine’ even mean?
Simply, honestly…It means YOU!
We are all selling ourselves to some degree unless we are living an ascetic life.
THINK: Monks living in isolation
While that may work for a small percent of the world’s population, likely you don’t fall into that category or you wouldn’t be reading this.
Slight digression, whoops…
Just sell YOU! It can be a vision of who you want to be in the future, but it still has to be you or others will see through the facade and lose interest quickly. Authenticity is underrated, and social media brings that to life. The more authentic you are online, the more people will relate to your story and want to engage with you.
Being authentic applies to both sexes, but primarily men should listen up. In general women’s ‘bullshit detector’ is a lot more highly honed (sensitive) than men’s; it helped them evolve by choosing a mate who could protect them and was stable enough to procreate with. Women needed to have good intuition when it came to ‘cold reading’ someone who was physically dominant to them, so they would be protected and not in danger, and so that their offspring would have a better chance of survival.
Think: Prehistoric hunter-gatherer societies and the animal kingdom.
So make sure you pass the initial screening, especially if you are a man hoping to improve your dating life. See additional notes and references at the end of this chapter on women’s intuition.
Everyone is selling a narrative online, but not all are convincing, many may seem inauthentic if the wrong story is being sold, so do be warned! If the only pictures or stories you ever see of someone are a bunch of airbrushed bunny-eared photos (Think: Snapchat), you might not be well represented online, but maybe you are 🙂
How to determine what your ‘real’ story should be?
While there are no exact answers to this question, we have made some guidelines here to help:
If someone was to meet you first in person and then see what you are posting online, or they stumbled across you online via hashtags, a dating site link through, or cold intro/search – would they recognize you in the other context?
Meaning: Is what you’re posting online a true indicator of who you are?
If NO, then you are probably a bit off the mark when it comes to being ‘genuine’. However, everyone has different thresholds for this stuff and it is more of an art than a science.
Creating an online alter ego is much more difficult and time-consuming than being true to your real personality!
Think: THE MASK, and unless you are extremely creative and have unlimited time on your hands, we don’t recommend doing that.
When you are really genuine in what you are posting, you can post freely and not be as worried about the image you are giving off as it is just YOU.
People either like it or they don’t, but either way, you don’t have to worry or spend as much time crafting your image.
Even if you are being very genuine, there are certain practices that we have found to work better than others.
In general, people share parts of their lives that make them look good. Fair enough, that is natural.
So, share some of your best moments throughout the month, week, day… This is representing you! A tailored version of you sure, but people also won’t be shocked when they meet you – that is how social media works to a large extent.
Show yourself to be vulnerable or facing adversity.
This can help you seem more relatable to other people, so feel free to share parts of your life that show the real struggles that come along with being human. We all face adversity and that makes your story all the more genuine and relatable.
Think: Truman show when he falls in love or when he really wants to travel – we see the highly emotional and vulnerable side of him, and that captivates the audience on levels of depth beyond just him walking to work and engaging in small talk throughout the day.
However, these are just guidelines and there are no right or wrong ways of expressing yourself as it must be tailored according to your goals.
Determine Your Story: Think about what’s important to you, what you value, and how you want the world to know you online. Answering these questions will help you to define on what kind of content you want to put online – we recommend writing this somewhere and then going to review this from time to time. – Can do this in your vision board area, or can simply write down on a notepad on your phone or on paper.
Show Your Authentic Self: Put various content from all sides of your life online. Experiment and most importantly have fun revealing who you are.
** The book Sex At Dawn presents a number of such science-based examples of the role of our genes in directing our behaviors.
In one famous experiment, men wore t-shirts for three days, then took them off and placed them in zip-lock bags. Randomly selected women of childbearing age were then asked to open the bags, sniff the contents and rate the men’s attractiveness from one to ten. Their rankings were based solely on smell, no other information was given.
The women all had very clear preferences. Some smells attracted them, some repulsed them. The t-shirts were ‘hot or not.’
When the researchers then genotyped both the women and men, they discovered that the women’s noses had unerringly selected potential mates whose specific genetic make-up would yield offspring with particularly robust immune system combinations (via MHC typing for the science-wonks reading this). Using just their sense of smell, the women were able to accurately determine very important information about a potential mate’s DNA.
Wow. Go science!
It turns out we can tell something about the elemental molecular constituency of the people around us, all the way to decoding an algorithm as ridiculously complex as the combination of two dissimilar immune systems.
Well, at least women can.