The other day I was watching the latest vlog video on the YouTube channel Myrmidryad. You know Myrmidryad? Run by a woman named Emma Darcy. Wrote a Trusty Water Blog post back in 2013. Was in a recent Finger Puppet Show strip. Hopefully that jogs your memory!
Anyway, her latest video was entitled ‘Privacy, Authenticity, TMI’ and is about the amount of things that vloggers share on their channels. I thought it was very interesting and, as somebody who also shares a lot about themselves (albeit in a blog) I thought I’d write a kind of response. Emma doesn’t really hold back from sharing anything about herself in her vlogs, to the extent that some people might be uncomfortable with her level of openness (though I’m certainly not – I think it makes for interesting perspectives), but she went on to say that other vloggers may not be very authentic in the way that they present themselves due to avoiding subjects like sex.
I thought that was quite an interesting point of view. It almost reminded me of Ulysses by James Joyce, since he tried really hard to include every aspect of life in it, but that book’s pretty terrible. Does one really need to present every single aspect of themselves in order for their self-presentation to be authentic? It’s an interesting question, but I don’t really believe so. Is it really inauthentic to believe that certain aspects of yourself are not important? I can understand the reasoning for thinking so, but I just don’t feel the same way.
To reflect on my own blogging, I think I paint a fairly authentic image of myself and my thoughts. Occasionally (but not often) people have told me that I have slightly misremembered the events that are covered in blog posts, so I’ll always add a note to explain when differing perspectives are offered. I may not ever write about sex or anything like that, but that’s because there’s nothing to write: I do not have any sexual experiences or thoughts. Although, having said that, I have occasionally had to remove blog posts because they contain sensitive information about other people; it is through fear of upsetting people I know that certain other things have never been made into posts here (and never will be.)
Unfortunately, I suppose this blog post might seem a little scattered. It was a little hard to articulate what I wanted to say in this case and so a little hard to write a structured response. Basically, I feel like people can withhold any information about themselves that they do not wish to share while still remaining authentic – as long as nobody is downright lying, I think it’s okay. Equally, some vloggers and bloggers create a kind of persona for themselves and while this is not very authentic, it is a no less valid approach. How do you define authenticity in blogging/vlogging?