BLOGGING: Am I honest enough to be authentic?

I have written yet another post this week about blogging, but decided to have a bit of philosophical or spiritual contemplation.

Is there a difference between being honest and authentic? What I mean to say is that I wonder how much people assess my honesty in order to adorn me with the legitimacy of displaying authenticity.

As a public person, a “professional Christian” and religious person I am well schooled on how to project what needs to be projected in the moment. We are all familiar with “I’m fine” as a standard “Christian” answer when greeted. If honesty would require me to say “I suck, and so does life right now and I do not have time nor desire to give you the time to explain the details” the response would either be laughter or disdain–depending on the relationship with the receiving party.

Is it better to be unfiltered? Will the brutally painful minutia of my life actually be worthwhile to even those closest to me? Its obvious words can hurt. Without restraint and other godly character qualities, simply being honest does not even work.

Sometimes its better to say…”those shoes are perfect.” or “your song came off well” or even “my goodness you bet I am interested in spending an evening seeing your pictures of that expensive vacation I could never afford.”

In the blogging world, we worship a brand of transparency we call honesty.  After all, its only on twitter.com that I post about my favorite coffee place, a picture of a huge zit on my face or sad news of my favorite TV show failing to record on my DVR.

With my blog I can give you even more detail and craft it well at times, too. But, is it honest? And, if it was would anyone really care to read it? Honesty is valued. Authenticity is rare. Somehow people know the real thing without seeing everything.

Real life is much like the online life, contrary to what some are saying these days. We can hide online and hide in person. We choose an image with our clothes and cars just like we do with our blog design and crafted biographies.

Wisdom tells us that boundaries make sense. Right? Am I crafting an online presence that is inauthentic because I choose to not expose every personal weakness and failing in my life? I am not sure leaving some failings out disqualifies us. It seems true that we just are not ready for the kind of honesty that supposedly equals authenticity. Or…are we?

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Rich Kirkpatrick

Rich Kirkpatrick

Writer, Speaker, and Musician. Rich Kirkpatrick was recently rated #13 of the “Top 75 Religion Bloggers” by Newsmax.com, having also received recognition by Worship Leader Magazine as “Editor’s Choice” for the “Best of the Best” of blogs in 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

48 comments

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Tracy Hoyt. Tracy Hoyt said: BLOGGING: Am I honest enough to be authentic? | Rich Kirkpatrick's … http://bit.ly/19jEiI […]

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Tracy Hoyt. Tracy Hoyt said: BLOGGING: Am I honest enough to be authentic? | Rich Kirkpatrick's … http://bit.ly/19jEiI […]

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Tracy Hoyt. Tracy Hoyt said: BLOGGING: Am I honest enough to be authentic? | Rich Kirkpatrick's … http://bit.ly/19jEiI […]

  4. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Tracy Hoyt. Tracy Hoyt said: BLOGGING: Am I honest enough to be authentic? | Rich Kirkpatrick's … http://bit.ly/19jEiI […]

  5. I don’t really know where to go with this. I like to think I’m honest and authentic all the time. That doesn’t mean all the gorey details of life are thrown out there. I fancy myself to be like Cpt. Picard. He is the same man no matter what, but he knows what to keep private and what can be shown through. I may not be as private as Picard, sometimes I am to honest and it hurts or repulsed or scares others, and comes back to kick me in the butt. So all that to say, I don’t have a clue ask Cpt. Picard?

    1. would he say “make it so” ?
      of course, I am mainly talking about blogging here.

      in that context, being authentic equals what?

  6. I don’t really know where to go with this. I like to think I’m honest and authentic all the time. That doesn’t mean all the gorey details of life are thrown out there. I fancy myself to be like Cpt. Picard. He is the same man no matter what, but he knows what to keep private and what can be shown through. I may not be as private as Picard, sometimes I am to honest and it hurts or repulsed or scares others, and comes back to kick me in the butt. So all that to say, I don’t have a clue ask Cpt. Picard?

    1. would he say “make it so” ?
      of course, I am mainly talking about blogging here.

      in that context, being authentic equals what?

  7. I don’t really know where to go with this. I like to think I’m honest and authentic all the time. That doesn’t mean all the gorey details of life are thrown out there. I fancy myself to be like Cpt. Picard. He is the same man no matter what, but he knows what to keep private and what can be shown through. I may not be as private as Picard, sometimes I am to honest and it hurts or repulsed or scares others, and comes back to kick me in the butt. So all that to say, I don’t have a clue ask Cpt. Picard?

    1. would he say “make it so” ?
      of course, I am mainly talking about blogging here.

      in that context, being authentic equals what?

  8. I don’t really know where to go with this. I like to think I’m honest and authentic all the time. That doesn’t mean all the gorey details of life are thrown out there. I fancy myself to be like Cpt. Picard. He is the same man no matter what, but he knows what to keep private and what can be shown through. I may not be as private as Picard, sometimes I am to honest and it hurts or repulsed or scares others, and comes back to kick me in the butt. So all that to say, I don’t have a clue ask Cpt. Picard?

    1. would he say “make it so” ?
      of course, I am mainly talking about blogging here.

      in that context, being authentic equals what?

  9. […] See original here: BLOGGING: Am I honest enough to be authentic? | Rich Kirkpatrick's … […]

  10. […] See original here: BLOGGING: Am I honest enough to be authentic? | Rich Kirkpatrick's … […]

  11. […] See original here: BLOGGING: Am I honest enough to be authentic? | Rich Kirkpatrick's … […]

  12. […] See original here: BLOGGING: Am I honest enough to be authentic? | Rich Kirkpatrick's … […]

  13. For me, I guess I still don’t feel like I can be completely open enough to share everything that I think, especially knowing that people may actually read what I write. Isn’t that the point? It’s still guarded. I guess if I want to be that open about something, maybe a personal journal is better than on online blog for things like that.
    I don’t feel the need to make things sound better than they actually are in a blog or post, I just don’t write about certain things. I’m still honest and authentic about things that I do write about. Is withholding the whole story being inauthentic?

    But, I do appreciate following everyone’s tweets about TV shows, food, etc… In that sense, it does make people seem more real and life-like – not just an avatar or name. That makes it fun!

    1. Some of us have to hold back! 😉
      I am trying for myself and all of us to simply ask this question: how much honesty is enough or is too much?

  14. For me, I guess I still don’t feel like I can be completely open enough to share everything that I think, especially knowing that people may actually read what I write. Isn’t that the point? It’s still guarded. I guess if I want to be that open about something, maybe a personal journal is better than on online blog for things like that.
    I don’t feel the need to make things sound better than they actually are in a blog or post, I just don’t write about certain things. I’m still honest and authentic about things that I do write about. Is withholding the whole story being inauthentic?

    But, I do appreciate following everyone’s tweets about TV shows, food, etc… In that sense, it does make people seem more real and life-like – not just an avatar or name. That makes it fun!

    1. Some of us have to hold back! 😉
      I am trying for myself and all of us to simply ask this question: how much honesty is enough or is too much?

  15. For me, I guess I still don’t feel like I can be completely open enough to share everything that I think, especially knowing that people may actually read what I write. Isn’t that the point? It’s still guarded. I guess if I want to be that open about something, maybe a personal journal is better than on online blog for things like that.
    I don’t feel the need to make things sound better than they actually are in a blog or post, I just don’t write about certain things. I’m still honest and authentic about things that I do write about. Is withholding the whole story being inauthentic?

    But, I do appreciate following everyone’s tweets about TV shows, food, etc… In that sense, it does make people seem more real and life-like – not just an avatar or name. That makes it fun!

    1. Some of us have to hold back! 😉
      I am trying for myself and all of us to simply ask this question: how much honesty is enough or is too much?

  16. For me, I guess I still don’t feel like I can be completely open enough to share everything that I think, especially knowing that people may actually read what I write. Isn’t that the point? It’s still guarded. I guess if I want to be that open about something, maybe a personal journal is better than on online blog for things like that.
    I don’t feel the need to make things sound better than they actually are in a blog or post, I just don’t write about certain things. I’m still honest and authentic about things that I do write about. Is withholding the whole story being inauthentic?

    But, I do appreciate following everyone’s tweets about TV shows, food, etc… In that sense, it does make people seem more real and life-like – not just an avatar or name. That makes it fun!

    1. Some of us have to hold back! 😉
      I am trying for myself and all of us to simply ask this question: how much honesty is enough or is too much?

  17. Complete honesty, to lay my life out on my blog with nothing held back, requires a great deal of vulnerability. To be vulnerable with people, I feel I need to trust them. Many of the people I am vulnerable to in person have shared their lives and trusted me as well. I don’t always feel that kind of trust with those in the blogging world, because we have not earned the right yet to walk around in each other’s hearts. I believe I try to represent all my blog posts with honesty, but maybe not always vulnerability.

    1. is it honest to hold back something? I think it is, but am asking.
      being vulnerable…is that the same as being “authentic” or something different?

  18. Complete honesty, to lay my life out on my blog with nothing held back, requires a great deal of vulnerability. To be vulnerable with people, I feel I need to trust them. Many of the people I am vulnerable to in person have shared their lives and trusted me as well. I don’t always feel that kind of trust with those in the blogging world, because we have not earned the right yet to walk around in each other’s hearts. I believe I try to represent all my blog posts with honesty, but maybe not always vulnerability.

    1. is it honest to hold back something? I think it is, but am asking.
      being vulnerable…is that the same as being “authentic” or something different?

  19. Complete honesty, to lay my life out on my blog with nothing held back, requires a great deal of vulnerability. To be vulnerable with people, I feel I need to trust them. Many of the people I am vulnerable to in person have shared their lives and trusted me as well. I don’t always feel that kind of trust with those in the blogging world, because we have not earned the right yet to walk around in each other’s hearts. I believe I try to represent all my blog posts with honesty, but maybe not always vulnerability.

    1. is it honest to hold back something? I think it is, but am asking.
      being vulnerable…is that the same as being “authentic” or something different?

  20. Complete honesty, to lay my life out on my blog with nothing held back, requires a great deal of vulnerability. To be vulnerable with people, I feel I need to trust them. Many of the people I am vulnerable to in person have shared their lives and trusted me as well. I don’t always feel that kind of trust with those in the blogging world, because we have not earned the right yet to walk around in each other’s hearts. I believe I try to represent all my blog posts with honesty, but maybe not always vulnerability.

    1. is it honest to hold back something? I think it is, but am asking.
      being vulnerable…is that the same as being “authentic” or something different?

  21. I try to use my blog to edify the body.I use Twitter for my rantings… they’re brutally honest.
    Facebook is a mix… because I have so much family, fellow alumni, work people, etc.

  22. I try to use my blog to edify the body.I use Twitter for my rantings… they’re brutally honest.
    Facebook is a mix… because I have so much family, fellow alumni, work people, etc.

  23. I try to use my blog to edify the body.I use Twitter for my rantings… they’re brutally honest.
    Facebook is a mix… because I have so much family, fellow alumni, work people, etc.

  24. I try to use my blog to edify the body.I use Twitter for my rantings… they’re brutally honest.
    Facebook is a mix… because I have so much family, fellow alumni, work people, etc.

  25. […] Am I Honest Enough to Be Authentic? […]

  26. […] Am I Honest Enough to Be Authentic? […]

  27. […] Am I Honest Enough to Be Authentic? […]

  28. […] Am I Honest Enough to Be Authentic? […]

  29. great post.i struggle with this issue a lot, and hope one day to be the most honest “creative” i can be, but i’ve got a very very long way to go.
    IMO, there can never be enough honesty in public discourse.
    BUT the problem is… audiences usually don’t want it. they gravitate towards certain content because of their perceptions about it… because it seems “cool” or “wise” or “funny” or whatever… anything that might trip up those perceptions can “ruin” it for the audience and people, even the ones who say they value “authenticity” over all, usually balk at knowing too much. especially when the forthcoming truth clashes with the image that they have formed of you in their minds and tries to break that mold.
    IMO, brutal honesty is amazing. liberating. but it’s also scary. stirs up the bad gunk that we’ve covered up and stuffed neatly away.
    in other words, honesty can be too abrasive to an audience that has been conditioned to consume only what’s attractive, cool, and safe.

    1. Since words can hurt as taught in the Bible, are not boundaries important? For instance, would I be brutally honest with a 5 year old child about her singing out of tune when it is not relevant? Or, if its my own child who is annoying me should I just tell him that? No. So, there must be some limit that is actually for the good of all, right?

  30. great post.i struggle with this issue a lot, and hope one day to be the most honest “creative” i can be, but i’ve got a very very long way to go.
    IMO, there can never be enough honesty in public discourse.
    BUT the problem is… audiences usually don’t want it. they gravitate towards certain content because of their perceptions about it… because it seems “cool” or “wise” or “funny” or whatever… anything that might trip up those perceptions can “ruin” it for the audience and people, even the ones who say they value “authenticity” over all, usually balk at knowing too much. especially when the forthcoming truth clashes with the image that they have formed of you in their minds and tries to break that mold.
    IMO, brutal honesty is amazing. liberating. but it’s also scary. stirs up the bad gunk that we’ve covered up and stuffed neatly away.
    in other words, honesty can be too abrasive to an audience that has been conditioned to consume only what’s attractive, cool, and safe.

    1. Since words can hurt as taught in the Bible, are not boundaries important? For instance, would I be brutally honest with a 5 year old child about her singing out of tune when it is not relevant? Or, if its my own child who is annoying me should I just tell him that? No. So, there must be some limit that is actually for the good of all, right?

  31. great post.i struggle with this issue a lot, and hope one day to be the most honest “creative” i can be, but i’ve got a very very long way to go.
    IMO, there can never be enough honesty in public discourse.
    BUT the problem is… audiences usually don’t want it. they gravitate towards certain content because of their perceptions about it… because it seems “cool” or “wise” or “funny” or whatever… anything that might trip up those perceptions can “ruin” it for the audience and people, even the ones who say they value “authenticity” over all, usually balk at knowing too much. especially when the forthcoming truth clashes with the image that they have formed of you in their minds and tries to break that mold.
    IMO, brutal honesty is amazing. liberating. but it’s also scary. stirs up the bad gunk that we’ve covered up and stuffed neatly away.
    in other words, honesty can be too abrasive to an audience that has been conditioned to consume only what’s attractive, cool, and safe.

    1. Since words can hurt as taught in the Bible, are not boundaries important? For instance, would I be brutally honest with a 5 year old child about her singing out of tune when it is not relevant? Or, if its my own child who is annoying me should I just tell him that? No. So, there must be some limit that is actually for the good of all, right?

  32. great post.i struggle with this issue a lot, and hope one day to be the most honest “creative” i can be, but i’ve got a very very long way to go.
    IMO, there can never be enough honesty in public discourse.
    BUT the problem is… audiences usually don’t want it. they gravitate towards certain content because of their perceptions about it… because it seems “cool” or “wise” or “funny” or whatever… anything that might trip up those perceptions can “ruin” it for the audience and people, even the ones who say they value “authenticity” over all, usually balk at knowing too much. especially when the forthcoming truth clashes with the image that they have formed of you in their minds and tries to break that mold.
    IMO, brutal honesty is amazing. liberating. but it’s also scary. stirs up the bad gunk that we’ve covered up and stuffed neatly away.
    in other words, honesty can be too abrasive to an audience that has been conditioned to consume only what’s attractive, cool, and safe.

    1. Since words can hurt as taught in the Bible, are not boundaries important? For instance, would I be brutally honest with a 5 year old child about her singing out of tune when it is not relevant? Or, if its my own child who is annoying me should I just tell him that? No. So, there must be some limit that is actually for the good of all, right?

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