Social Media: Reflections or False Perceptions

For someone who thrives on social media, it’s been weird to realize that no one really knows who I am. Most people in my life see one side of me — the CHAARG side, the student side, the intern side, the wild side, the fitness side, the dance side — but they hardly overlap. Even my mom and sisters, who know me better than anyone else, often don’t know what exactly I do. It’s “mysterious,” I suppose, but it kind of sucks that no one sees me as whole. I am not a Barbie that embodies different personas depending on the outfit. I am Mary — all day, every day.

I spend the majority of my time alone, and that’s how I like it. I have always been very independent and introverted, so unless I truly like someone, I only really feel obligated to be with others to please them. When I am with others, I don’t like talking about myself. I wouldn’t say it’s because I’m altruistic, it’s mainly because my life is one big mess and there is absolute no need to unpack it onto someone else. One of my biggest pet peeves is people complaining about how they are “sOoOo busy,” so I refuse to do that, even if I actually schedule in time to shower (yeah, I try to skimp on that to save time — I’m really gross, I’m aware).

That being said, I didn’t realize people don’t really know me until talking about my plans for the future. While still very up in the air, I know what I want to do. I’m 4 months away from having an MBA in Marketing & International Business, so I dream of multiple careers: social media manager for a digital marketing agency, brand strategist for a large fitness corporation, SEO analyst, PR & communications specialist… my goal is to hold all of those positions at some point in my life (Millennials = multiple careers hellllll yeah!). I hope to work in multiple industries with a variety of clientele, traveling the world while doing so. I would love to end up as a C-Suite Executive, possibly of my own business. I dream of being a #GirlBoss.

Still, those are my careers — not me. I am an opinionated liberal. I dream of helping improve the nutrition of underprivileged children around the world. I dream of empowering women everywhere to be their strongest and best selves. I dream of educating people to pursue careers they didn’t know existed. I dream of encouraging lifestyles that are sustainable not only to the human body, but to the natural earth. I dream of seeing the world by running it — not being a tourist, but feeling the earth underneath my Nikes and allowing myself to explore the roads freely to fully immerse myself. I dream of a world where people don’t feel the need to point out someone else’s gender, sexuality, race, or religion. I dream of a world where people actually listen to each other. I dream of a world where people aren’t fucking assholes all the time.

Then, I talk to people and they ask if I’m going to work at a gym the rest of my life. Of course, I would love to continue coaching for the rest of my life, but only on the side. I am a writer, through and through. I would even love to own my own studio one day, but still, I am a writer. I am never giving that up. Besides, I have $70,000 in student debt. That should say enough.

I fear that through social media, I have given the impression that I am not an intellectual. I fear that people perceive me as a shallow, narcissistic gym rat or cardio queen that fixates on fitness. Yes, I love fitness and it has helped me improve in all other areas of my life, but I don’t like to share those sides. It’s not glamorous to see me writing — I write with the worst posture, hunched over my laptop, either while sitting or lying down, typically in my pajamas. That doesn’t make for a good Instagram picture, I promise.

Even with social media, of course you’re only seeing the highlight reels. I don’t publish my struggles — my insecure body image, lots of homework and studying, maintaining relationships, trying to multitask 3 jobs, all while trying to keep my shit together on a daily basis. I am the first to be honest about it if someone asks, but I don’t publicize it. There’s no need to.

I also don’t feel the need to go totally MIA on social media. Social platforms are how I stay in touch with most people, so I’m fine sharing. I’m not fine with people assuming they know the whole me as a result. As a people pleaser, I am a pushover and try to appease everyone. Some people still see me as the wild child party animal that I was a couple years ago, so they will flat out insist we go out together. Most people don’t realize that I don’t drink anymore because for the last year, I’ve been working every weekend morning as well as every weekday. I’ll tell people I do, and they’ll tell me to take off work. They don’t realize I am often the sole manager of my fitness studio on the weekends — that’s not what we do.

Again, no one actually cares. They care for themselves. They see my “fun” Snapchats and Instagrams and want in on the “fun.” What they don’t see is me doing everything alone. I can honestly say I don’t have one friend that enjoys all the same activities that I do. People want in on the fun until it realizes what I sacrifice — I don’t watch Netflix, I don’t binge drink, I don’t spend money unless I absolutely have to, and I don’t really “relax.” Like I’ve said before, I believe that sitting in front of a screen to “relax” is a modern social construct. It’s not appealing or enjoyable to me, so therefore I relax in other ways. It’s not my concern if others don’t find my relaxation methods relaxing to them.

I don’t like gossiping about people. I try to realize that everyone has their own personal struggles and is battling their own demons every day. Life’s too rough to not be a cheerleader for everyone else. I don’t like gushing about boys. I love a good crude joke, but I really don’t care enough to pluck flower petals and contemplate if an immature boy likes me. That being said, I am the best friend to have if you’re ever going through a breakup. I recognize I’m not a typical girl, and I’m okay with that. I care for so many people in the world, but I’ve learned that I can’t let my people-pleasing tendencies keep me from living my life.

Maybe I’m not actually bothered that people don’t know the true me. Maybe I simply wish people cared more to learn about the true me. And then I remember the blank stares I get from people when I talk, either from speaking too fast or who knows why else… I think I’m good, after all.

This post wouldn’t be complete without this. You’re welcome.

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