Blog-tember: The Real Me vs. The Online Me

Linking back up with The 2015 Blog-tember Challenge today because this topic is oh so important to me.


I was driving down the highway this afternoon, and a massive Hardee’s billboard stopped me in my tracks. Actually, I kept driving, but I slowed down enough to catch what it said: GO ALL NATURAL. The All-Natural Burger.

“WHOA,” I thought. You go, Hardee’s.

Then I got closer and saw the asterisk. “*All natural refers only to the beef patty.” Womp, womp, womp. The billboard knew it was deceptive, but it wanted what it wanted and some processed vegetables weren’t going to stop their advertising campaign.

I got to thinking about what my asterisk would say.

Farmer Takes a Wife*

*Her husband is not actually a legitimate farmer but he works with farmers and wants to be a farmer so she pretends.

Job Title: Writer*

*She actually writes news stories but is working really hard to write more, so she can just pretend, right?

Holly Paulette*

*Not actually who she is on Instagram.

Like the Hardee’s let down, I get discouraged thinking about that last one. Whether it be on Facebook, Instagram, this blog, or my thrice-yearly tweet, I want my day-to-day life to be encouraging–not because it looks like I get it–but because we’re all in this dang thing called life together.

But it’s hard. Day-to-day is far from glamorous, and my hot mess of everyday makes my head spin, so I know it’ll make yours spin too. I think there’s a fine line between over-sharing and under-sharing, and, while under-sharing is often deceptive, over-sharing diminishes really necessary boundaries. I don’t want the internet to get all of me–I want to reserve that for offline.

Our generation is the first to have to deal with this weird identity crisis. Before, who you were was who you were and that was that. I’m constantly reminding myself that real-life people like real-life Holly, so the notion of an online-Holly is dumb. It’s not always that easy, but I try to be Holly both on the world wide web and in the world wide world.

Three ways in which the “online me” isn’t fully real:

  1. I’m really, really, really blunt in real life. Ugh. To a fault. You know when the Bible talks about a balance of grace and truth? I’m great at one half of that equation and terrible at the other. That harshness–because I often take the bluntness too far–doesn’t translate well to a public forum like this blog (public=what I like to call my “faithful 15 followers”). And typing things out or posting a picture gives a pause time that benefits my filter, which, in turn, makes me seem like less of a mean girl. #grateful
  2. I suck at being vulnerable. Vulnerability is hard. It’s easy for me to post the very real good things in life, but it’s not easy to unpack our baggage here. And, to be honest, I don’t think this is the necessary outlet for that. Saving that crap for the safety of our home and our people gives the internet less power over my life.
  3. I accidentally curse every now and then. Sorry Mom, Dad, Grandma, and Lucy.

What is real:

  1. I’m not stylish. I’m not creative with food. My house is in shambles 80% of the time. I’ll save you the jealousy and not post a picture of the pile of dishes in my sink, but I vow to not pretend like our life is put together in any semblance of organization. We live in a constant state of chaos, and I hope this blog reflects that we’re laughing through a far from picture-perfect life.
  2. Our house is often filled to capacity with just the greatest friends in the world. I talk all the time about our people, and it’s no exaggeration. Our cup overflows. We put emphasis in our lives–and in our budget–to make room for the people around us, and our lives are all the richer because of them.
  3. Gosh I love Jesus. And I want the world to, too. And I know my words are a measly and messy form of witness, but if I can reserve my little space on the internet to give Him glory, why would I not?

Read and follow along on this hilarious journey with me, and it’ll quickly become clear that real and online mash up nicely for me. Sometimes, with blogging for other sites and on my optimistic Insta days, good words are more forthcoming than negative words. I’d love for real life to look more like that.

Finally…as a ridiculous example of online vs. real, I give to you: Holly and Morgan at weddings.

First–“Oh! The photographer caught us mid-romantic dance! We’ll beam for the camera.”

IMG_2419Second– “We are so put-together!”

11701114_10205602353995766_2347022016780804380_n-2And then we take a turn for the more realistic.

Third– “Turn down for what.”

imageFour– “This is my favorite dance move.”

View More: http://kaitlynphippsphotography.pass.us/clayandalison

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8 thoughts on “Blog-tember: The Real Me vs. The Online Me

  1. I love your three points under what is real 🙂 it’s so important to be real esp in a blogging or social media world where we all think we have to be as perfect as possible. Jesus says give me your mess and let me make it beautiful. I totally embrace my mess, haha. 🙂 Love your blog, girl!

    • Katie–Yes! I love that our God isn’t intimidated or disappointed by our weakness, as it just keeps bringing Him more and more glory. I hope that always always always is portrayed online. I love it. Thanks for finding my blog…I’m looking through yours now and LOVE it! This blog-tember challenge has been such a great encouragement to write.

  2. Leslie says:

    Another one to save for your future devotional book that I know will be coming out soon and be a worldwide hot seller!

    • Ha! Atleast I’d have one book sell 🙂 (Actually, maybe two…I just got a creepy voicemail from Stacy asking me if I’d have a book next to Karen Kingsbury at the bookstore. The answer to that is no.) Thankful for your support, Leslie. You don’t know how much it means to me!!

  3. sydnijackson says:

    Awesome post!! Thanks for being real 🙂 I need to hang out with real-life-Holly soon!! We live so close now! Maybe when you aren’t so crazy busy and I’m not either (though that might be awhile so maybe we should just go for it!). PS love the last two pics 🙂

  4. What a great post! Seriously. So well-worded. I think that you really explained the balance there is with sharing online. Not EVERYTHING should be talked about in this format and I think some people get that confused with being “real.” Also… your pictures for illustrations. KILLIN’ ME!

    • Yes! Thanks, Leah. That means a lot to me. And I’m glad you enjoy the pictures…my good friend Kaitlyn at from Kaitlyn Phipps Photography could double as my blog photographer from all the pictures I steal from her blog 😉

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