That new era undoubtedly suggests – not a dozen, but much more than that – a ridiculously unattainable number of so-called standards and canonical, constantly repeated images of people, things and ideas, struggling so hard to convince individuals of “Nothing really big is going on here” and “Everything is wonderful just the way it is – and it can even become more wonderful if you participate”. In this regard there is a particular world, which must somehow has existed in the past – before that new era concept – either in the same form or in another, but with similar meaning and emerges somehow or other in our lifes (in every kind of conversations or contexts – in the university, supermarket or small talks etc.). Authenticity wanted. Yes, it’s true; everyone is desperately searching for authenticity and there must be truly something wrong about this whole concept, because even if authenticity existed who would attempt to get an “authenticity certification” by repeatedly copying other people, behavours and actions? Oh! Let me guess. People. So, if you are even trying to act authentic just figure out another way – if there is a way at all. As far as I am concerned, there isn’t.
Moreover, one can question, why people need to consider themselves as authentic; what motives or needs lead people to discuss about that idea and even more longing for the moment of their identification with authenticity? Is it – just – society, it’s norms and often exaggerated suggestions or are there really justified reasons (even biological?) for searching authenticity? People are indeed creatures with a special sense of self-importance and esteem – besides they can conceive and realize themselves more than any other heretofore known creature. So, could this fact explain people’s need for authenticity? I simply think, that there must be something more than that.
Authenticity without much hairsplitting means being unique, being true and “yourself” – and a little more, but I won’t analyze further at this point. It’s a (tragic) irony that the “authenticity dream” unravels so fast, considering that all these features constituting the concept of authenticity just aren’t applicable in life – and there is actually no need for that in my opinion. What does it even mean “being unique”? Stars, plants and pets are also unique, because they simply portray another form of life. But does this mean they are authentic? What is true? Everyone has a truth – his own truth. What does it feel like to be “yourself”? Do you even know who you are – at least utterly? I can now see all the “about authtenticity” commercials of really famous brands bursting into flames in front of my eyes – and it feels good for a few seconds.
I have even looked up for possible antonym versions (or simply antonyms) in online dictionaries – it probably was a “big mistake” not using my well tied dictionaries in old-fashioned style and just to rely on internet sources, but I will take that risk I guess – to find out that even the antonyms given are so hardcore and cruel; they are actually leaving no other option than not choosing “to be” authentic. This must be a good reason and more than enough for the vast majority for embracing authenticity – but now all of a sudden, something or someone is disgustingly whispering in my left ear that exactly the same majority has not even checked for the word’s meaning (and by that we don’t even imply the deep, complex, linguistic origin or analysis of the world – even though we should). Thus, it wouldn’t be the first time where people get excited about things, of which they think to know about, but ultimately have no idea of. However let’s not nullify everything by judging “innocent” people and society – I really enjoy that irony. Maybe at a later time. So, back to all those antonyms, which “almost force” one to consider himself as authentic; I guess I wouldn’t be pleased either if characterized as “untrustworthy”, “unreal”, “fake” or “doubtful” – who needs that anyway? That “vast majority” above definitely not.
In addition people frequently tend to associate authenticity with “being different” or “making the difference” and I really have nothing against “making the difference” – besides it would be a deep satisfaction – and surprise perhaps – watching the world becoming “different”, but that’s actually something, which happens every single day. Everyone was different from the very beginning, because that’s just the way it is (there are good reasons for that and reasons in general). However those “being different” and “making the difference” that contemporary authenticity cultivates and in regard to their potential application – and not only as a life choice – in real life (whatever each of us considers to be real life) seem totally useless; even if the existence of the authenticity concept had a talent for contributing positively to society, then I might exist in a parallel universe, where discrimination and struggle to trust people, who “are different” is just booming. Thus, where lies the need for authenticity? Because it seems like on the “tree of obviousness” someone grafted a new branch and named it authenticity, creating a weird blending of features, which simply don’t really offer something new.
To conclude – without having (of course) reached a catholic conclusion about why authenticity doesn’t exist or doesn’t necessarily has to exist, people should just face the fact that everything is changeable and it’s in our nature to constantly change. That’s probably the most dominant characteristic of human nature and the one which allows us to keep living. Flexibility is all we have. And if I am now rethinking about the word authenticity, there is an implication of inaction there, an incitement for being nothing more than “yourself”. And how is this possible in a world where everything changes every second?
And anyway, people who openly claim to be authentic appear automatically un-authentic (or just use one of the antonyms above). Thus, I can’t really see a need there.