privacy, authenticity, and living publicly

Lately I seem to have better luck "accidentally" writing blog-post-length comments than writing actual posts. So I'm gonna stick with my new trend of just turning the comment into a post. My friend Sarah wrote an amazing post about privacy and authenticity in the online world. You need to make sure you read it. Like right now. Then come back and read my thoughts.

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'privacy' photo (c) 2009, Alan Cleaver - license:’m a pretty private person, so my choice a few years ago to share about what was going on in my life/ministry was huge. I was very scared of doing it wrong — in a way that would bring more hurt and dishonor — than anything else, so I went about it with great trepidation. I painted with broad strokes, leaving out the bests, worsts, and a lot in between. And I still do. Not just in the ongoing journey of all that (and the many layers it entails) but also in my day-to-day life.

It’s easier to step back now than it was a few years ago. I often go days without being on twitter, weeks without blogging. I don’t analyze my sharing as much, debating on if this should or shouldn’t be shared. Those decisions come much easier than they used to.

Sometimes I have to fight the feeling that I’m missing out on great connections and opportunities (because of watching people quote-unquote “get ahead” with their @replies and intentional online shoulder-rubbing) and that I’m just missing out on all the fun — like everyone else is at the cool kids table and they’re all having this amazing time I’m excluded from. Sometimes I still have to fight all that and sometimes I just don’t even care anymore.

But the bottom line is this:

I value honesty in whatever is shared (by myself or others) rather than the amount/depth of it. I don’t think I — or anyone else — should divulge everything, but wisely withholding doesn’t mean one is being dishonest, disingenuous, or inauthentic. Be truly and honestly you in whatever it is you choose to share, and THAT is all the authenticity I need.

{Seth Haines also wrote a poignant post about authenticity and Sarah Markley unpacked more of her thoughts in a follow-up post. You're not gonna wanna miss these ones.}

Would love to hear your thoughts about privacy, authenticity, and living publicly. Let's talk!