Why Authenticity Matters to Our Generation

In this world of appearances, we yearn to know what’s real. It’s innate for us to do so, wanting to shed light on the darkness. What is it that drives us to do so?

Could it be because we have finally awakened from the bullshit around us? We are constantly aware that merely the appearances surround us. Social media is an excellent example of this. People attempt to make their Facebook profiles and Instagram posts the ideal versions of themselves. We all know that beneath the iceberg of their cyber faces is a vast array of imperfections, faults, and secrets. In our daily interactions with people, we judge people as being “fake” or “real.” We yearn to have genuine moments with people which require us to expose ourselves. We are careful to do so in case we feel manipulated by those who have devious intentions. Our generation is fed up, and it’s becoming apparent not just in our daily lives, but on a macro-scale.

The internet has been the ultimate tool in the exploration of truth. Never before have we have had the ability to access so much information at our fingertips. Before, people received their news from sanctioned media organizations; the limited scope of which information given to the people. People were complacent with this fact because they saw they had no other option. But the internet has changed everything. In an instant, our curiosity can be fulfilled with a simple google search. While cable news ratings have fallen over the past decade, our generation has flocked to a wide range of news sources the internet has to offer. Politicians and public figures can no longer be protected and pampered by large media conglomerates; The rise of the independent news has disrupted the status quo.

Authenticity is a major theme in this year’s presidential election. It’s the primary reason why candidates like Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump are so popular because they are perceived to be “real” as opposed to Hillary Clinton or Jeb Bush, who seem to appear scripted in public life like a reality TV show. We should always question the appearances, even of those we adore. Donald Trump said ten years ago that he identifies more as a Democrat and Bernie Sanders goes on luxurious retreats to fundraise for the Democratic Party. There can be explanations for their actions, but we should never 100% let our guard down for a supposed savior, nobody is perfect.

What underlines our crave for authenticity is the search for truth. What lies at the truth is not a definitive answer, it’s the reflection of our ourselves.