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?