I spend a lot of time filtering. Filtering my speech, filtering my writing, filtering my thoughts.
Yes, any traditional therapist would say that it’s not healthy to bottle up your feelings, that you should just spit them out (and yes, before you point out the delicate irony, I see it).
Knowing that employers look at your social media activity has made me vigilant about what I post online. I’d rather not run the risk of not being hired because of something I could have easily removed.
In that sense, I’m okay with filtering, despite my honesty policy.
Yes, you read that right. Here’s why I’m okay with it.
Not Everything Has to Be Immortalized On The Internet
In the words of Christopher Hudspeth:
“Not every little thing your brain spews out needs to be photographed, video recorded, or written into 140 characters or less statements, and shared with the potentially permanent, inerasable abyss.”
This is exactly why I end up discarding half of my blog post list ideas from my Evernote file. There’s enough in society about me, me, me, and how social media is making us stupid. How would you, my lovely readers, benefit from reading about how I waited for a hour in a doctor’s office only to have him look at me for less than ten minutes?
You get the idea.
I try my best to make the personal stuff stay in the Moleskine. If I still have something to say about it once I’m through my venting/sorting through my feelings stage, that’s when I put it here.
The same goes for celebrity culture. We live in a world where we feel like we have the right to know everything about a public figure. Who they’re dating, what their workouts are, what they like, what they don’t like.
Sure, all of us love a good story, but there’s a line that needs to be drawn in the sand somewhere. I feel uncomfortable seeing the headlines. What people choose to do in their lives is their business, public figure or not. If they don’t want to talk about it, they won’t, if they do want to talk about it, they will. And we should respect that. They’re not obligated to tell us about their lives, just as I’m not obligated to tell you about mine.
Face-to-Face Interactions Are So Much Better
We’ve all seen “Look Up,” that viral spoken word piece on YouTube, haven’t we? When you’re interacting someone one on one, there’s so much more depth to the conversation. You hear the inflections in their voices, pick up on social cues…the list goes on and on. Little things like that can change the nature of a conversation.
Sometimes we can share a little too much information on the Internet; sometimes we’re not even conscious of it. But face-to-face interactions force you to filter out things depending on the circumstances. You have to be able to take responsibility for what you say. Once you share something with the Internet, you can’t take it back.
Okay, you can’t take words back after you say them, but over time, people may forget what you said. What we remember is how we feel.
I would rather feel better going with my gut and filtering a little if I feel like I want to or have to rather than spilling my guts and trying to clean up afterwards, wouldn’t you?
How do you feel about filtering your emotions? How do you deal with your feelings about it?
Image Credit: Gratisography
8 thoughts on “Why I’m Okay With Filtering My Life Despite My Honesty”
Perhaps in part because I have bipolar disorder, I am particularly bad at filtering. On the other hand, there was a time over many years when I lived my life behind a mask of normalcy, high achievement and perfectionism, hiding both my pain and my racing thoughts.
I can definitely relate to this, Kitt! Some people out there are just great at filtering. I’m okay with it, but that doesn’t mean I like it. When I was younger, I did try to hide everything behind a mask of normalcy; that was a disaster. How do you achieve a balance now? I’d love to hear what’s been helpful for you!
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As far as a balance with privacy, I have always erred on the side of disclosure. I am open by nature, even when defended (if that makes any sense). As to life, that has been more of a challenge. When I worked, I overworked. I tried to balance working with parenting and living with bipolar disorder and was unable to pull it off. Since i stopped working, twice I attended seminary, but did not complete my studies. Recently I have blogged, attended writers’ group meetups (skipped them this summer, parenting got in the way), gone to group therapy, and participated in NAMI’s Peer-to-Peer psychoeducational classes. This spring I activated my California Marriage and Family Therapist license, which I am not using, but I wanted to reclaim that training. Long answer, sorry. More details on my blog.
Will definitely look into it. Thanks Kitt!
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This is a thought provoking post. Sometimes I wish I could write anonymously so I could say whatever I want, but that wouldn’t be good for me. Being accountable because my children and family read my blog makes me filter. We don’t need to have everything we ever think out there on the internet, that’s for sure! 🙂 #saturdaysharefest
I agree. I appreciate authenticity in anyone, not just blogging. But I’ve found that a line has to be drawn somewhere. Thank you for taking the time to comment. I appreciate your kind words!
I’m all for honesty, but I’m never one to think that the definition of “honesty” is telling everything you possibly can to the internet. Online reputations are very important–it’s worth thinking carefully about which glimpses of live are worth putting on the internet and why we want to put them there.
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Very well said, Rachel! I completely agree. Some bloggers are very honest-almost a little too honest in my opinion, but it is ultimately their choice. Thank you for taking the time to comment on my post! Just checked out your blog, absolutely love it! I studied Chinese and Spanish as well, but I’m a bit rusty, and I would love to get them both back. I look forward to following your adventures!