Freshly Pressed: Friday Faves
This week’s Freshly Pressed posts continued to impress us with the range, depth, and honesty of the material being put out into the world by WordPress.com bloggers. As a community, you’re bold, not afraid to put yourselves on the line, and committed to chewing through important questions, even if you don’t always have the answers to them. That makes for heady reading, and passionate, opinionated conversation in the comments afterwards.
If you’re looking for something to read this week, we’ve picked three posts that share a preoccupation with trying to be authentic in a high-speed world that often demands that we’re anything but. How do you stay true to yourself when the world around you so actively encourages vapid, “phony” responses to seemingly inescapable situations? In three very different posts, this week’s selection of bloggers tackle that question in their own way.
We face these kinds of tough decisions every day, sometimes without even considering the moral and ethical significance. Cheating and getting ahead is the easy decision. Choosing not to cheat is the tough one. However, cheating does, after all, imply getting a competitive advantage. What if you are at a competitive disadvantage if you don’t cheat because everybody else is? It’s easy to justify it in our own heads when we are pursuing our goals to be successful and respected.
DF Salvador’s expansive post on the ethics of cheating to get by, or to become successful, spans from gaming online Scrabble to Lance Armstrong’s dubious decisions on the road to sporting success. At the heart of this post is the thorny question of how, and when, to stay true to oneself even when everyone around us is using artifice and underhand tactics to get ahead. It’s not an easy question, and there are no easy answers, but DF Salvador’s post explores and examines the motivations and societal pressures on all of us to sell ourselves short in the pursuit of success.
Everywhere we turn these days we hear about people “keeping it real.” But which real-self are they keeping true to? This sense of “keeping it real” could in actuality be about projecting that self that is dependent on the social world–An identity that has been constructed just for a public image. So, in reality one would “be keeping it fake real.”
Psychologist Mimi’s post tackles the problem of striving for authenticity in a personal and professional context, when authenticity is very much a social construct that falls apart at the drop of a feather. In a world of mediated experience and media-saturated personalities, is it foolish vanity to attempt to be the “real me”, and if not, what separates that from something altogether more “phony”? From Catcher in the Rye to Kim Kardashian, Psychologist Mimi interrogates our universal quest for authenticity and draws some interesting and unexpected conclusions.
Just like my Instagram photos were starting to feel meaningless, so too were most of the “first Vines” I saw posted yesterday. Vines of people Tweeting about Vine. Vines of people making coffee. Vines of people drinking coffee. Vines of dogs. Vines of cats. Vines of people dressed like cats. Vines of a dying Tweetie Bird. Vines of people eating food. I’ve yet to post a Vine, because I feel as if I have nothing Vine-worthy to record.
In Eric Leamen’s post for CE, he reflects on the dangers of the medium becoming the message. Leaman draws on his experiences with Twitter, Instagram, and Twitter’s new 6-second video service Vine to reflect on the impact of feeling perpetually pressured to post something, anything, to social media services. When posting becomes more important than having something significant or meaningful to share, to what extent do we end up sharing vapid, empty, and arguably inauthentic nothings before wondering why nobody seems particularly interested. Eric Leaman explores this idea by way of a piece of frozen pizza.
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For more inspiration, check out our writing challenges, photo challenges, and other blogging tips at The Daily Post; visit our Recommended Blogs; and browse the most popular topics in the Reader. For editorial guidelines for Freshly Pressed, read: So You Want To Be Freshly Pressed.