Social Media Users Crave More Authenticity in 2019
 
Written by Helene Clabecq

The latest Social Media Reports for 2018 have been dropped and one of the main takeaways did not really come as a surprise, as indeed, authenticity has been requested now for two years in a row.

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There has been a lot of discussions over the past few years on the potential negative aspects of social media due to misuse of the platforms and the demand for a comeback to an authentic usage, as it was before social media grew exponentially (2.23 billion monthly active users as of today, regardless of the platform) and led to 60% of people not trusting social media networks anymore.

On one hand, businesses are scrutinizing influencers more closely and focusing on engagement and conversions, as buying fake followers and likes is no one's secret anymore.

On the other hand, user’s sense of self-confidence is triggered so much that there is a new term in the social media world taking Body Dysmorphic Disorder to a whole new level:  “Snapchat dysmorphia”: it consists in enlarging your eyelids and lips, contouring your cheekbones and slimming your nose to resemble the app’s filter.

In fact, numbers are quite alarming. Back in 2017, over half of American plastic surgeons received requests from patients who wanted to improve their “selfie”.

And who doesn’t know a friend whose relationship appears flawless on social media when they call you crying every other day, or this other one who pretends having a lavish lifestyle posing in front of cars or houses that are not theirs? Also, fakecationing is a thing.

Attempts to switch away from superficiality and lean towards more authentic content have been noticed, among which: the rise of (less polished) ephemeral Instagram stories and live videos as well as displayed “before and after” or “instagram vs reality” posts and the rise of facebook private group (+40%) where users share more intimate content and more transparency when it comes to influencer marketing.

Now, let’s be real, if we want the social media community to change, are we willing to take a step forward ourselves and display our unique, genuine, authentic, vulnerable and transparent self online or will we keep embellishing our online personal brand?

Will you intentionally chose to have authentic experience of social media, before logging into your account or pressing publish on your next content piece?