The question I get asked all the time is this: “Do you really eat all that food?”
Yes, I do. I may not eat all of it, but I do sample most of the stuff I post on social media.
To which is always this follow-up question: “So where do you put it all?”
The food goes in my stomach, as with everyone else. I surf, run, hike, swim and find any way to burn off whatever I consume. But I don’t have some magical metabolism or tapeworm — though I’ve often wished for both.
And get this: I juice. But the last time I posted a photo of that — on Instagram, maybe — I got booed.
Here’s the thing: we are not who we project to be on social media. At least we’re not ENTIRELY that person. Yes, I eat a lot of donuts and hike with my dogs. But I also work — some people don’t believe that — and spend a lot of time at home, reading a book or cooking pasta. I just don’t post all of that on social media.
A lot of people have harnessed the power of social media to create altered version of themselves online. These are often cooler versions, too. They’re foodies or wine connoisseurs or fashionistas or social media experts or — this always kills me — successful writers. I see people ask them questions about their supposed fields of expertise and wonder who’s telling the truth anymore.
It’s easy to create a personal brand on social media. I’ve done that. I bill myself as someone who lives, plays and eats in Hawaii, who writes for a living and who, on most mornings, hits the surf. These things are all true. But I don’t necessarily share the other things going in my life. I rarely post links to stories I’ve written or discuss the current books — yes, plural — I’m reading. Not that I’m embarrassed or strategically leaving that out. I just don’t think it’s relevant. And honestly, I don’t think people care all that much about the mundane things we do.
It’s interesting. I’ve always thought you create a personal brand by the work you do, not the work you profess to do on social media. But I guess times have changed.
I’m going to juice now.