Culture

How To Cultivate Mystique In The Age Of Social Media Overshare

By Nea Logan··  6 min read
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How To Cultivate Mystique In The Age Of Social Media Overshare

When I think of the unique aspects of being a beautiful woman, intuition, child-like joy, and a caring spirit are values that come to mind. But there’s a fourth thing that makes a girl alluring, maybe even desirable, in the eyes of others. That thing is called mystique.

What is mystique? It’s the art of being mysterious, of sharing just enough to create interest. It’s a side of femininity that I feel is underrated and isn’t practiced enough today.

We live in the age of TMI, which makes me feel that there’s a calling to cultivate our mysteriousness for a modern world. Ages ago, this meant practicing modesty by wearing ample layers of clothing and only choosing to speak when spoken to. Today, mystique is best applied to the way we socialize in our digital environment.

As the saying goes, “say it and forget it, write it and regret it.” Before Facebook and Instagram, rumors, secrets, and breakup stories were only hushed to one another in high school hallways. But with the advent of these digital platforms comes amplified messaging that can be heard around the world, and that can come back to haunt us. And while it’s no crime to share personal details with followers, it still should be done with great caution.

Mystique is the art of being mysterious, of sharing just enough to create interest. 

Unfortunately, many social feeds are tarnished by oversharing, and this leaves us overexposed and even vulnerable. But by embracing the art of mystique, we can spare our reputations. Maybe we could even draw people closer to us.

Pause Before You Post

A careful selection of words will keep your feed classy. What isn’t keeping it classy? Engaging in a 400-word rant littered with misspellings, bad grammar, misdirected emotions, and crude or unnecessary details that could have been left out. A post like this reveals a lack of care and even ignorance, and can invalidate whatever it is you’re trying to say. Instead, it helps to pause and reread before mashing “POST.” 

Sometimes when I’m feeling caught up in my emotions, I like to write a “fake rant” and let it sit for a few minutes without sending it. By the time I come back to the unsent post, I may not even feel like I did five minutes ago. So I’ll delete the entire thing. I can only imagine all that I’ve spared in my life by putting this into practice.

Leave Family Matters off the Timeline

You know exactly how to reach your mother, and it’s not Facebook. Even if you think that these online exchanges are mild, you’ll always risk followers reading too much into it. They may even think that dysfunction is present when it shouldn’t be any of their business. A surefire way to weaken a family bond is by going public with it. It doesn’t matter that your feed is set to “Friends Only,” exposing family info comes off as desperate and domineering, not to mention embarrassing. Whatever your issue may be, no one besides the people directly involved really needs to know.

A surefire way to weaken a family bond is by going public with it. 

We’ll Pass on PDA and Body Shots

Show me selfies of you smooching on a guy you just met, and I’ll show you weeks of instant regret all over your Instagram. I’m not here to wish doom over healthy relationships. But a lot of these super-short-term relationships end over social media. I’ve witnessed situations in which brand new couples break up over provocative selfies. And plenty of eligible bachelors have scrolled right on by twerking videos and “thirst traps” – photos that are meant to entice and arouse. While you’ll catch some eyes, these posts are immature at best, leaving available men to file you under the “not ready for a relationship” folder. 

After all, many good men appreciate mystique, as it leaves room for the imagination. This encourages them to continue a courtship with you. That said, a lack of mysteriousness could be why so many women aren’t making it past one-night stands and are frustrated with the dating game.

Approach the Comments Section with Class

If I could pin a disclaimer on every post, it would read: “Not every comment warrants a response.” I am 100% for freedom of speech. But sometimes our desire to express our views doesn’t come out in a favorable manner. It’s not always what we say but how we say it. Just go to a comment section near you, and you’ll find hundreds of people arguing for days over a single misunderstanding. Still, I’ll never tell anyone to abstain from dialogue. (Healthy debate can be fun.) But nothing is more unnecessary than an argument that can’t be made without ad hominems and below-the-belt punches.

It’s not always what we say but how we say it. 

One scary thought that comes to mind are the people who read your Facebook dumpster fire debates with random strangers. These people never respond or react, but they’re taking note of your impassioned exchanges. This could be an employer. This could be a future date. But never for a second believe that people will not act in their best interests and protect themselves from toxic, argumentative behavior – even the kind they see online. This is why mystique matters. Using our intuition, we can read the “room” and decide to hold back when it’s too risky to respond.

Closing Thoughts

When I imagine what the proper social decorum looks like, I imagine the strongest, most feminine women who have influenced my life and how they put mystique into practice. 

One of my favorite TV judges for years, Judge Lynn Toler, left these words to the wise in her most recent Facebook post: "I had nothing #uplifting to say today. There are a few expletives flitting about my brain but I know better. You don’t run towards #socialmedia with your most fervent #emotions. You run the other way."

I find that mature and esteemed women tend to use social media differently. You don’t hear her trashing others. She isn’t recording a breakup. No one is privy to her most intimate issues with family and friends. Because she practices the art of mystique, she’s perceived as friendly and approachable without removing all doubt with a single rant. Usually quiet, observant, and reserved, when she does speak, she is heard. And by manifesting her own mysteriousness, she doesn’t spoil her potential but remains powerful, resourceful, and beautiful.

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  Society  Social Media  Femininity
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