With the birth of my daughter, I’ve really struggled about what I share online outside of running. It’s prompted me to think about what does it mean to be seen and fully authentic on social media.

Is it about sharing too much or sharing too little?

Is it about, showing every success, failure, bad photo, every personal moment.

Is it about using your platform to share and inspire, or to show a montage of your own successes.

What does it mean to be real to oneself and authentic to the external world?

I feel that generally speaking, most will want to present the best side of themselves, in most aspects of life.

I’ve learnt and seen that some of the most outwardly confident people are often the most insecure.

I’ve learnt that people are complicated, who wear multiple masks, who often have a deep rooted subconscious narrative, that directs their consciousness decisions, sometimes unbeknownst to them and us.

However on the flip side, developing self awareness and having an answer aren’t also a solution to all life’s challenges.

Sometimes people’s truths are driven by deep subconscious fears, which they rationalise to be “the truth” which is easier when listening to our friends speaking, then maybe recognising in ourselves.

No one is perfect, no one has all the answers, so I try my best not to judge, because who am I to question someone else’s authenticity, when I don’t fully know the truth they tell themselves, compared to actual reality.

A fool will tell and advise based on certainty. I know for sure that even if you think your right, shut up, because you might just learn something, by listening and being the last one to talk.

My social media profile is about my running journey. But there’s things I’m not comfortable sharing in such a public environment at this stage, like photos of my daughter hence the photo style of the blog photo.

But there people who are comfortable sharing family photos online, and there’s nothing wrong with this.

It comes down to what are you comfortable sharing and what would you resolutely defend, even if you were criticised for it.

But whether you play it safe or put it all out there you will be criticised.

But as I get older I realise that authenticity comes from the self, and doesn’t require external validation, from people or things.

My time on social media has taught me a valuable lesson in the real world, that whether you have 40k people that like you or 40k people that detest you. It doesn’t matter if you don’t like yourself.

Whilst “Marathon Marcus” is a partial snapshot of my life, showing my running journey, despite the colour splash photos, it’s authentic aspect of a part of my life.

So however you present yourself on social media, or in real life, keep your authenticity based on your own values of what feels comfortable for you.

I’ve been nominated for best blog for the 2018 Running Awards, if you like my work then please vote by clicking this link.

If you vote in 5 different categories you’ll receive a 10% discount with the top Online Running Retailer of 2017! Voting is free and very quick.

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10 comments

  1. Marcus, again a huge congratulations on the birth of your daughter. And great post – it is difficult getting the balance right on social media. For me I have my ‘running’ self and my ‘professional’ self which I do cross-reference – both are my authentic voice. But I am also mindful of what I share as I think many of us are. One piece of feedback I’ve had on Running On Full is that I tell it as it is – which is a real compliment.

    And on not including pictures of your family on social media, I have a few friends who don’t and I fully support that decision. If they want to share photos, they’ll email me. In my posts, where I include photos of people I know including folks from my club, I will ask their permission – not everyone gives this and that’s absolutely fine.

    And wishing you well with The Running Awards.

    Happy fatherhood!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Sophie, I really appreciate your thoughts and wisdom shared. I totally agree that telling it as it is, in line with your self is definitely a winner 😊💪🏽

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      1. Hi Marcus,
        I don’t often reply here, but felt compelled today. Great post! I do think that being authentic and posting and speaking honestly is a healthy thing. But, it has to feel right and really be honest. One must also only use social media for betterment and a positive approach considering it can be easy to hide behind the phone or computer. Negativity and derogatory posts, no thank you. I will stay away from any accounts that show that or any disrespect in any way, shape or form.
        My most favorite posts are those that are real and tell stories of living. Family and fitness are excellent examples of living! And, they are examples of health and love. This is positive!
        Having said that, for me, it is fitness and running that I post about the most, as it is a favorite hobby, but that’s just a snippet and what I am most comfortable sharing.
        As for my words and posts, it was my intention to share more, but also did not want to overwhelm.
        I found that lessons from training and fitness carry onto every other aspect of life and that’s valuable. As well, sharing wisdom and positivity with others is uplifting to me and I hope motivating. That just feels good. The compounding effect of this approach is beneficial and we need more of it. Keep being true to yourself, Marcus, and do what your head and heart are telling you.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks Gaby for sharing this insight, it’s really helpful to learn from your own experiences. In fact your reply should be a blog article in itself 😊🙌🏽 I fully agree with the points raised and thank you again for sharing this.

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    1. Thank you Ilka! She is a real blessing to mine and my wife’s life. But I totally agree with you about staying true to yourself.

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  2. Love this post Marcus!! And it’s a problem for a lot of people at the mo. My emails are swamped with this problem so great to highlight! You get my vote!! 🙃x

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Congrats on the birth of your daughter – you have much joy ahead of you. I too, think being authentic is important, and while what I reveal through Instagram and my blog are true to me, I do struggle with how much to reveal without compromising myself and the people around me. Thanks for a thought provoking read

    Liked by 1 person

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