The pros and cons of social media for the future of nudism

The pros and cons of social media for the future of nudism

“Dear Facebook, Several months ago we’ve sent you a message with complaints, but unfortunately we haven’t heard anything back from you. We’re still not satisfied…”

 

This could have been the start of another open letter to Facebook complaining about the fact that they still don’t respect us, the nudists. Because they still seem to think that what we are doing belongs to the same category as porn stars having threesomes on white leather couches.
We do like to fight for our rights, verbally at least, and we love the discussions although they’re often endless. Give us a bottle of wine and some snacks and we can talk the whole evening and most of the night about how wrongly we feel treated by social media and how unaccepted we feel by something that’s supposed to bring people together. But in the end they’re not going to change their rules for us, they are big businesses. They react on the requirements of a majority. They don’t care that some Naked Wanderings blog (a very good one by the way, you should read it sometime) complains about getting temporarily banned or that a woman starts questioning wheter or not a fraction of her nipple can be shown.
Well… at least not when you’re alone…
Jessa O’Brien (a.k.a. The Nude Blogger) has proven that we can make a difference (and that our attempt with the open letter was actually pretty lame, but that’s another story) but that we need the support of the media. Then it suddenly becomes a big deal and then they may react.

 

But you didn’t give us a bottle of wine, so we’re not going to keep you up all night with philosophies about why social media should accept us.
Instead we’ve asked ourselves the question until which extend we should accept social media…

naturism on social media

The phonies
We have always liked social media. We’re children of the eighties, so we saw the whole thing coming at just the right time: Way before our parents. “Clean my room? Sure mom, but please send me a reminder on Facebook”. You should’ve seen her troubled face back then, now she’s calling why we haven’t yet liked the photo she has put on instagram two minutes ago.
But it’s cool, she tries to keep up, go mom!
What’s less cool is that people love to be someone else on social media. That didn’t come as a surprise though, does anyone remember SecondLife? Now it has been expelled to the darkest dungeons of the internet, but a couple of years before Facebook got famous it was a pretty big deal. Basically you could create a “second life” in a virtual world and be whoever you wanted to be. Suddenly, as soon as you logged on, you became a rock star, a top model, a Bill Gates without the dorky glasses. That virtual world was perfect and well inhabited with loads of perfect people so the whole perfectness became a bit mediocre.

 

And then Facebook came, and people loved it and it was all real. But then someone thought “what if I lie about my studies, who will know?”.
We all know where that story ends…
Soon people found out that they can also be anonymous. That they can be a gray mouse from nine to five and a insatiable-6 pack-22 inch-lover from seven to eleven. Or a rich business man. Or someone of the other gender.
People could have their fake Second Life indentity inside a “non-fake” world. Or at least they thought.
Since we have Naked Wanderings social media accounts, you have no idea how many conversations or tweets or comments or whatever we get saying “hey, I’m a nudist too, here’s a photo of my erected penis” (okay, normally they say “large cock” but we like to keep things decent here). Uncountable. And we think “Really? Is THAT what you think nudism is? Didn’t you read anything about it?”.
Of course we’ve gotten used to that. We answer something like “ok, please read our blog and if you still think nudism is something for you, get back to us”. They never do.
But suppose there’s this couple, early twenties, still exploring the world and one of them puts the card on the table.
“I’m interested in nudism.”
So the other says “yeah… you’re kinda surprising me here… i’ll have to think about that”. These days thinking means going to Facebook, find a nudist group, post on their timeline that you’re new and want to learn more about the lifestyle and within 10 minutes there’s a guy messaging you “here’s my erected penis, now show me yours”. Talking about a first impression.
And then we haven’t said anything about the pictures we receive that are obviously straight from YouPorn with the message “Hi, I’m Natascha from Russia and I want to have sex with you”. Weird.

naturism on social media

Hate your body by going on social media
Okay, the phonies are one thing and you have them in real life too. The people who stole 70 euros out of mom’s wallet to buy a bottle of fake champaigne in some nightclub so they feel special, we wouldn’t want to feed them.
But then there’s something more deep… We’re all a bit fake on social media, aren’t we? Look at your timeline and tell us that that’s exactly how your life is. Bacon and eggs breakfast on Mondays, a glass of rosé wine on the beach on Wednesday and on Friday we’re having a party baby! That’s not our life. Those are the moments we want to share with others. We don’t want to post a picture with a pile of files saying “look at all the boring work I still have to do”.

 

What we don’t think about is the perception of others. We rarely realise that what we see on Facebook are just snapshots. The entertaining parts of our lives, the parts we’re proud of. You don’t see the blisters on our feet or the sweat on our backs before we reached the top of that hill, you don’t see the argument in the car (“you took the wrong exit” “because you told me to” …) before we found that beautiful nude beach, you don’t see our hungover selves dying in the couch the day after the party.
We look at Facebook and we say “whoa, look at Lins, she lost another 2 kilos. No wonder she’s confident enough to be a nudist and I’m not”.  What you don’t see on Facebook are the kilos she gained. There’s only one… no, two… nah only one person in the world who knows the real deal. And those things we tend to forget. We have several friends who, if we would use the statistics on Facebook, weigh about minus fifty kilograms by now.

 

What we want to say here is that social media, just like other media, doesn’t show you the reality, but only a glimpse of it. People only show what they want you to see. Actually it’s propaganda, a bit like the news in North-Korea. But before you start treating your friends like mini Kim Jong Uns, double check your own profile first.

naturism on social media

The pros
We’d like to add a positive note as well here. Social media is a way of connecting people and we think it’s still the best possible way. People in countries where nudism is forbidden by law can get in touch with each other and organise something on their own, we make new friends all over the world, we know when the next skinny dip is taking place and you know when the latest Naked Wanderings blog post is there.
There are many groups you could join, discussing specific nudist topics like nudist gardening, nudism in some small town in Zimbabwe, nudist chess players, nudist skydivers, you name it. But then there are of course also the more dodgy “sexy nudists” (don’t bother, for the sake of investigation we checked it out and it’s all men exchanging pictures of naked women… Who would’ve thought…).

 

Another reason why we need social media is to organise ourselves, let ourselves be heard. We already mentioned The Nude Blogger, she started her campain because she was kicked off Instagram, but without Facebook or Twitter she would’ve never gained so much attention from the “regular” media. Look at the middle east, many movements started from social media. It does give us a voice and if we use it in the right way, we can get things moving.
But we have to know what we’re doing.

 

SIDE NOTE: When re-reading this post it does seem that things went quite philosophical… Maybe because we did have that bottle of wine… But we’re also still in Greece, the birth math of modern philosophy, so let’s not blame the wine.

 

Picture credit: The photos in this post are coming from Google and Twitter. If you find one of yourself and you don’t want it to be on our blog, let us know and we’ll remove it.

3 thoughts on “The pros and cons of social media for the future of nudism

  1. Exactly! It is definitely a mixed bag. Some days I really enjoy social media and blogging. Other days……not so much. It can be really frustrating to write something that you think, “hey….not bad…maybe even a bit insightful”. Then, still beaming with pride, you check a your comments, likes and follows and discover — you’re now being followed by an account whose title is so pornographic you blush even reading it; you received a like from the guy who wants to show you, and the world, his erect penis; and you have a comment posing a point of view completely contrary to your entire blog. “Perfect…..just what I was hoping for”.

    There’s good and bad, pros and cons. I think of it a bit like Yelp and Google reviews. People who are mad, angry, or have an agenda…..they always seem to have a bit more time to share their thoughts with the world via a review or comment. The person who was generally satisfied and walked away with a smile, “yeah….maybe I’ll post something later”. So, there are happy and fulfilled readers out there who are participating in the nudie social media experience, but in their own quiet, a bit in the shadows way. They are there. They enjoyed what you wrote. They learned and grew. But they would never like, follow, or comment.

    You’re site is a diamond in the rough — honest, tell it like it is, slice of life, take it or leave it, not telling you how what you should be doing….instead, just showing you what you could be doing and what this whole nudie thing is all about, for one couple and their adventures.

    Keep reaching out.

    Naturistthoughts

    1. Well on our blog we have to say that most of the time we get genuine comments from interested people, but on social media it’s a whole different story. People often seem to have no idea what they’re talking about.
      Last week we’ve been somewhat in the online news, you should’ve seen the comments on those articles. Clearly the ones who comment didn’t even take two minutes to actually READ the piece. They see the title “couple traveling naked around the world” and think that they have something smart or provocative to add. Pretty ridiculous…

  2. Hoi Nick & Lin, groetjes van een Belgisch koppel dat jullie pas ontdekt heeft 🙂

    Social media, I have a love and hate relationship with it.
    I can put a +1 to everything you say.
    My wife and myself, we find ourselfs turning back to the early years. Turning our back at social media and reading blogs. O yes, blogs. That thing from the dinosaurs 🙂
    It seems people are more genuine when they ar writing in theyr own little space, far away from that freaking Facebook ecosphere.

    P.S.: I stole your baseline on our blog, hope you don’t mind 😉

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