Don't bother being genuinely authentic

Merriam-Webster, America’s oldest English language dictionary and not considered authentic in many linguistic circles, has announced ‘authenticity‘ as its word of 2023. The reasoning is obvious: AI and deepfake and all that at-your-fingers chicanery has understandably led to the huge demand in finding the genuineness of things. Or so goes the general thinking, since the fad isn’t searching for the authentic – whether a recipe or a truth – but being seen doing it.

The authenticity fad has become the new kale smoothie of self-expression – everyone claims to love it but, deep down, they’re not quite sure why. It’s as if we’ve all enrolled in the Authenticity Olympics, competing for the gold medal in Genuine Living. But here’s the twist: authenticity isn’t a one-size-fits-all fake vintage T-shirt. It’s not about how ‘carefully careless’ your morning hair looks, or how many organic avocados you can fit into a single shopping basket. It’s being considered as the Real Deal Martin. We’ve created a paradoxical culture where people spend more time crafting the appearance of authenticity than actually living authentically. Social media has become where we craft out self-image and strive to make our real selves match with it. We live in the gold-painted age of hyper-rehearsed spontaneity. Authentic authenticity isn’t the point.


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