Taking off the Facebook mask

by / Tuesday, 10 December 2013 / Published in Uncategorized

Have you ever met someone in person after knowing them on social media and thought, “wow, you are NOT the same person that I imagined.”

I’ve had this fear lately of being that person.

In a world of branding, marketing, PR and social media, people can make themselves into whoever they want to be for the public eye that is not actually who they really are.

They can seem like the most enlightened being on the planet.
They can seem super nice.
They can seem really successful and rich.

How many times have you been disappointed or let down and then stopped trusting that people are who they say they are?

There is so much talk about the new paradigm and I’ve been seeing a lot of people talking the talk, but just putting a new costume on old paradigm ways.

New paradigm to me is congruency, embodiment and integrity. The world today needs more leaders who have the courage to take responsibility in having their thoughts, words and actions all be in alignment. To be the real deal inside and out.

I have been taking a closer look in the mirror at how vulnerable I am on Facebook and where the disconnect is in my “real life.” My brother has called me out saying, “I see who you are on Facebook, but I don’t get that Tanya in real life.”


It’s safe to share vulnerably on Facebook. Why? No one is looking at me. I don’t have to engage in a dialogue. Most people who comment are saying what I want to hear (positive comments).

So what would it look like for me to bring that into every relationship in my life? For me to be congruent, embodied and in integrity?

1) Speaking up when I feel disconnected instead of writing people off.

I always wonder why communities ebb and flow … people coming in and out.

So many people say: “I want community” but then as soon as something doesn’t go the way they expected, they write off the entire community as “not my tribe.”

What would it look like to actually speak the withhold? What would it look like to drop the expectations?

Real community occurs when everyone leans into the uncomfortable edge of communication. I was at an event yesterday and at the end of the sharing circle, a woman spoke up saying that she felt so disconnected and was having a hard time hearing about everyone’s gratitude. She spoke up because she knew she wasn’t the only one who wasn’t on a “high” at the end of the day and wanted to give voice to that.

That’s real community.

2) Say no when I mean no, and say yes when I mean yes.

Stop the people pleasing, the accommodating, the sacrificing.

I overextend myself all the time without thinking about it. I make promises I can’t keep. I don’t take the time to feel into my body and locate my intuitive hit.

I was enrolling a friend into a project and he said, “let me be honest with you. I need to sit on this and meditate. I have stopped saying yes to everyone and everything. And actually, as I say that to you right now, let me tell you what my concerns are and what I’m going to meditate on.”

He shared his concerns. I shared my insights, my vision and my passion.

We had a really open dialogue back and forth. At the end, he said yes, he’s all in.

What’s so amazing about this conversation is:

1) he honored the no instead of jumping into the yes right away.

2) he leaned into vulnerability by sharing his concerns aloud with me, creating deeper connection in our relationship.

3) he committed once he felt the full-body yes and had no concerns left in his space. He actually didn’t need to “meditate on it” because he intuitively already knew and was able to access that by talking it out.

Completely congruent, embodied and in integrity.

3) Keep owning where I can be responsible for my filters.

We all have filters, judgments, and stories. We look at the world from our own particular lens based on how we were raised. We inherit our parents’ conversations and their parents’ conversations. So the two questions I ask myself are:

1) what’s really mine? Is this who I am or what I learned?
2) Am I reacting or responding?

I’m afraid of blowing up in reaction and being out of control. I’m afraid of getting hijacked by my filters.

What I learned is that sometimes I have to just let them out and catch it in the act, or after the act. And that’s ok. It’s ok to screw up. It’s ok to get messy. It’s ok to make mistakes. If we can take responsibility for the impact it has on others when we lose control, we can learn some valuable lessons in how to respond the next time.

I’d love to hear from you! What would it look like for YOU to be congruent, embodied and in integrity?

Share in the comments below.


6 Responses to “Taking off the Facebook mask”

  1. Michelle says : Reply

    Oh, I really like and resonate with this blog! Thank you for saying what I have been subconsciously feeling about social media and why I always seem to want to keep it at arm’s length. It’s true that it’s easy to show one’s best side, or ideal side, and so doesn’t always feel totally authentic. At the same time, I know there’s plenty of good coming out of social media, mostly the ability to connect with so many people in so many places. Your blog has me asking myself, How can I be more authentic and truthful in the face I present in the digital world?

  2. Jenny says : Reply

    This is a great topic. I think it is important for me to visit my boundaries and intentions every time I post, share & comment. I want to inspire and share. Ill use this as an invitation to look at where I lack the ability to inspire myself AND to share and give more to others, and not just on facebook.

  3. Liz says : Reply

    Great observation about yourself, and of course a trigger for me to look at myself as well. I think that while I will bring up questions about issues that are troubling me on social media, in order to get feedback and get ideas, less often is when I speak about my challenges. I would feel safer in that transparency if I didn’t feel surrounded by people who are hiding themselves behind masks. So it’s a chicken-and-egg, situation, I know that my own transparency coming out will be a great model, I just want it to be for a purpose and not just to spill my thoughts for the sake of talking. It feels more valuable to me when I can present what I’ve learned, along with the transparency. And I’m still learning!

  4. janice says : Reply

    Tanya, I met you in person first. I think this is a great topic, and while social media to me is a little different. I think we need to be true to ourselves, not what others think of us. LOL even though I say that, I am careful on social media to not be so vulnerable. I personally think people make to many judgements of others. Family is top of the list. I have come out more in my goddess pagan beliefs to my Christian family and friends., there was something very freeing about enjoying my freedom in that. I love that you look at theses deeper issues and share but I don’t feel you have to do so on Facebook. Thank you for all you do

  5. Steph says : Reply

    What that would look like for me is to accept who I am in this moment and know that it’s ok to be that version of me. I seem to have this idealized conception of myself in my head, and if I can’t live up to that image of who I think I should be, I just keep my mouth shut or try to pretend.

    I love those questions of what’s really mine, and am I reacting or responding. I figured out a while ago that, especially as a highly sensitive and empathic person, a lot of my feelings and thoughts weren’t actually mine. And when I have that subtle feeling of contraction in my body, or a feeling of disingenuousness, it’s usually because I’m reacting to someone or something outside of me. I think this is my number one key to authenticity–know and claim what is mine, and let go of the rest, with compassion.

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