Is Social Media Killing Authenticity?

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Is Social Media Killing Authenticity?

Every social media rulebook hails authenticity as the bastion of success in the world of digital interdigitation.

Yet, I have to confess something…

I wonder if the more ubiquitous social media becomes, the harder is to bear the burden of being authentic IRL (in real life)?

Because, with increasing frequency, you’re not the only person reporting on your every move anymore. When I’m at an event, a gathering, meeting or just having lunch, I’ve come to learn that every word out of my mouth is fair game for social media attribution and distribution. Maybe by the person on the other side of the conversation. Maybe by the person at the table behind me. Or, just a passerby.

And, that freaks me out a bit. Because when I put the message out there, I give it context.

But, when others translate it to social media, especially media that only allows for cherry-picked snippets…who knows?

This used to happen when I was in mainstream media on a fairly regular basis. I’d be interviewed for 30 minutes, then a few sentences or seconds would make it into the interview or segment. I learned, very quickly, how easily it is to be misquoted or have a snippet of a thought quoted out of context, with the meaning dramatically altered.

So, I trained myself to be increasingly politic when doing media interviews.

I was what I’d call cautiously authentic. Tactically transparent.

I said what was on my mind, but always added in a few beats before my thoughts left my mouth to try to frame it in a way that closed as many doors as possible to misquoting and mis-contextualizing. In fact, I began to encourage almost all media, save live TV or radio, do interviews by email, so I could craft and frame the message exactly as I wanted it to appear…and create a paper trail of the full conversation.

In my early days of blogging, I didn’t feel this same need to live-edit my speech.

There was a sense of freedom, of respect, of the desire to want to treat each other right. And, without the time or space limitations of traditional media, there was the ability to include the entire conversation. To keep the context in.

But, I wonder if that’s changed over the last few years, fueled by:

  • (1) the mass-adoption of social and communications tools that force aggressive truncation of messages, like twitter, texting, wall updates and beyond,
  • (2) the near-pervasive expectation that not only anything you share in social media, but anything you say or do in person, even in real-life public or private, is fair game for publication and distribution,
  • (3) a widespread sense of a lack of the need to provide context, edit, vet information or be accountable, and.
  • (4) mobile access to tools that make sharing information as easy as hitting a few buttons on your cellphone.

I was recently at a conference and said something to a friend that, without knowing our relationship, could easily have been taken as biting or even a bit warped. But, between us, we were just messing around, building on a history we had, it was like a series of inside jokes. Someone behind us, though, overheard the exchange then turned and said, “dude, that’s going on twitter.”

Seriously? SERIOUSLY?

I’m totally cool having what I said shared, as long as it’s framed in the nature of my relationship with the other person and the broader context of the joking conversation. Sadly, the chance of that happening in 140 characters is near zilch.

And, that realization has led most folks to now agree that when it comes to social media, you’ve got to be willing to lose control over your message. But, the corollary to that is, you’ve also got to be willing to exert more control over how that message leaves your mouth to give it the best chance of being framed and shared in the way that fully expresses your intent…even if your preference is that it not be shared at all.

Which means I’m left back in my days of live-censoring my conversations, for fear of being miscontextualized, but this time, it’s not just about my conversation with a single reporter…

It’s about every word out of my mouth, because EVERYONE’S now a reporter!

This growing knowledge has slowly drawn me from being fairly free, transparent and authentic with how interact not only online, but out in public or on the phone and in email to being more cautiously authentic. Tactically transparent. It’s led me to include the line, “The content of this e-mail is off the record, unless agreed otherwise” at the end of every email I send.

And it’s set that line up as an automatic cognitive filter in my conversations. Yes, even friendly, face-to-face conversations.

Because, you just don’t how, when, where or why snippets might end up online and out of context.

So, in this odd way, I’ve been feeling a growing sense that the mass adoption of social reporting technology is increasingly encouraging me to stifle, rather than embrace a sense of complete authenticity.

Not because I have major skeletons in my closet that are freaking me out (note to self, buy more nails for that closet!). But, because, it’s become so much easier to become a target of misattribution, misquoting and mis-contextualizing when every person in every direction is potentially reporting on your every word and move (and, trust me, I’m really not that interesting).

Especially when the ADDention span and character limits of the medium increasingly encourage speed over depth and breath.

And, yes, I get that I now also have my own bully pulpit upon which I can fire back.

But, honestly…that’s just not how I want to spend my time.

Curious, anybody else feeling this?

Or, is it all in my head?

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45 responses

45 Responses to “Is Social Media Killing Authenticity?”

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jonathan Fields, ava diamond and Kay Ballard, Mary Wilson. Mary Wilson said: Thought provoking post RT @jonathanfields: Is Social Media Killing Authenticity? – http://is.gd/cDDqN [...]

  2. LisaNewton says:

    It’s amazing what happening in social media and change. Everyone has an video camera in their back pocket, or a camera in their purse, ready to open up at a moment’s notice.

    In a recent incident here in LA, police officers were captured on “film” abusing bikers. Action is being taken due to a video that was taken from a rider’s iphone.

    In this case, social media might possible enact change.

    Do we have to watch our every move? Will someone be around the corner ready to capture any “infraction” on film, twitter, or facebook?

    I think yes. Is this fair? No.

    But, it’s the world we currently live in.

  3. Adam King says:

    No you’re not alone on this for sure. That’s an interesting statement you made about feeling a “freedom” in blogging. I came online around 2007-2008 and I have yet to experience that sense of freedom. I’ve always been careful about what it posted. Not in a conservative way to avoid controversy, but just being conscious of the message and where it leads people.

    With the growth of any media or communication form, there inevitably, will have to be control built in to every user’s plan and execution. A somewhat sad fact, but necessary.

    Great thoughts.

  4. Jenn Bowen says:

    Jonathan, It’s not all in your head. You’re dead on and it’s sad. The old rule for social media that says “if you wouldn’t say it in person don’t put it on Twitter” just doesn’t apply anymore since others will put your words on Twitter completely out of context.

    You should not have to frame all conversations with a disclaimer but I can certainly see the downside if you don’t.

    So now I ask you, is social media helping or hurting relationships and conversation? If we can’t be truly authentic to ourselves online or off what is the benefit?

    My answer is that it still helps as long as it’s only one small part of your relationship building.

  5. Bill says:

    I’m not sure the problem is social media so much as it’s an absence of consequences. You mention, “Now everyone is a reporter,” but, strictly speaking (not always in reality), this isn’t reporting because it doesn’t reflect the context. If what is reported (or tweeted) misleads, it’s not news but a kind of fabrication. But because consequences are essentially impossible with social media, and because the out of context comment is so much more salacious than the truth, we get what you describe.

    Internet beliefs to the contrary, you aren’t a journalist just because you tweet something you heard. Nor are you a journalist just because you have a media card. You’re a journalist when you do the work to report the real story.

    But I agree. Authenticity is out the window. It’s simply this week’s marketing buzz word.

  6. Crystal says:

    Hmm.

    My grandmother told my mother 45+ years ago to never say or do anything she wouldn’t want her (my grand) to read on the front page of the Washington Post.

    Twenty years later, my mom told me the same. And I’ve been quoted out of context in the back pages of the Post twice now, so I’m feelin’ both her message and yours. It’s always been true, and now ever moreso.

    So no, it’s not in your head. There are comments and criticisms I’d never (ever) post on my blog, that I won’t email or chat or tweet or nuttin’. They’re said face-to-face in private to a few, maybe only one. And there are some I tell only my husband, and some are just between me and my meditation. I’m not 100% about it, but I do try.

    One thing for sure, anyone who would quote an eavesdropped convo is a special kind of jackass. It’s called spying, people. It’s not cute, it’s not clever, and it’s not right.

    • Someone quoting you out of context is simply out of line. That is true in journalism as well as twitter. Same difference.

      I make it a point to always ask whether I can quote someone online – and whether they want their name to be part of the story. I usually assume (in my line of blogging) that people do NOT want their name in there.

      But that’s just me.

      In general – with everybody as a publisher, and social codes not yet developed that well, it’s certainly wise to watch your every word.

      Or just stop caring that people quote you out of context. The more complicated the message, the more likely it is to be misunderstood anyhow.

  7. justin locke says:

    well as marshall mcluhan predicted, the global village (or perhaps global small town) is here . . .

    anyway one thing to remember is that the people reading all this online gossip about you aren’t necessarily believing everything they read. and even if they do, they will often ignore it. a big part of authenticity is realizing that no one is perfect. –jl

  8. Jean Sarauer says:

    You’re right on target. Like it or not, everything we say and do in public can be cherry-picked for sound bytes or snippets that seem totally bizarre when taken out of context.

    Count me in with the ‘not liking it’ crowd, but it is what it is.

  9. Why did you leave out the part celebrity plays here? Seriously. There’s a celebrity factor which governs the probability that you’re going to be reTweeted or misinterpreted or even noticed. What you’re complaining about comes with the territory, just sayin’.

    • I agree that celebrity is going to play a role – especially in attribution. If someone hears me say something strange and decides to tweet about it, they would probably just put OH: yada yada yada … but, if it’s someone like Jonathan, Jay Baer, Chris Brogan, etc. they are more likely to have that comment tied to their name.

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      Interesting questions about the role celebrity plays in this phenomenon. When it comes to traditional media, I tend to agree. But, in social media, not so sure. Maybe there’s some added incentive to share something overheard from a celebrity or “web-lebrity,” but I’ve also seen a ton of tweets about things that were “OH” – twitter/TXT-speak for overheard – from random people. My guess is there are far more snippets shared from casual conversations or evesdropping on the convos of non-celebs simply because of the volume of people now sharing information.

      Two other quick thoughts. One, I’m not actually complaining about it, just noticing an odd juxtaposition – how the changing face of social tools have changed the way I share at the same time people are hailing authenticity as the end-all-be-all of “succeeding” in social media (whatever that means, lol). Okay, last thing, while I’m flattered that Sue Anne lumped me in with folks like Brogan, man am I NOT a celebrity, nor do I have anywhere close to the level of exposure some of the big folks have. And, truth is, I’m not all that interested in celebrity either. I’m driven more by impact than fame.

      • Sweet.

        But dude, compared to us small folks with a mere 280 followers measured by feedreader, you’re a celebrity. And hey, within one of my subniches I’m a celebrity too. So don’t ignore that as part of issue.

        But I do think it’s also about the level playing field of everybody being a publisher. That just means that the average quality isn’t that high. And when the quality isn’t that high, there’s not a lot of people taking it seriously either.

      • Val says:

        Regardless of what people think of you, catagorize you as or label you, the more your thoughts instigate others, inspire change, encourage others and embolden them you’re going to find notariety and as long as you don’t buy your own press, (let it go to your head or change because of it) you’ll be fine.

        As far as editing in conversation or blogging, I think it dilutes you. You’re responsible for your own words, not what others do with them taken out of context or your intention. Your intention is clear here. Maybe you can copyright yourself. Heheh.. but seriously, anyone who’s ever had a platform to speak from earned the audience and you can no more be expected to answer for misquotes or spun phrases than anyone in media or motivational speaking is expected to. Those are the responsibility of the 3rd party.

        The beauty of having a platform is the ability to make your thoughts known and clarify stuff that is counter to your brand. LOL yeah, I said brand. Sorry but there is a definite positive flavor here and I’ve only read a few topics. If you stick with it no misquote will stick to you or make sense to those among your tribe.

        If you’re an employee or want to be one, or running for office then you’d be better off shutting down all public access and installing tight controls on your posts anywhere. This is going to be getting worse and worse as employers and people with too much time on their hands find all the tools to dig up info on people. There are far more intrusive sites than google and FB for that.

  10. I was actually thinking about this a couple of weeks ago when I decided to “live blog” a conference I was attending instead of “live tweeting” the same conference. Context is very important, and one of the things that you lose with the 140 character is context.

    Everyone is now a reporter with social media and people are often looking for the pithy things to post that will get them followers and RTs. Overhearing something you say and posting it on Twitter may get them noticed in a way an original thought wouldn’t.

    It’s ultimately up to you to decide how much you’re going to let that influence you and what you say. Some people have chosen just to be themselves and whatever gets posted is what gets posted. Others have rightfully felt the need to be more self-editing.

  11. I’m not trying to be argumentative here, but it sounds like you want to have your cake and eat it too.

    “Cautiously authentic” ISN’T authentic.
    “Tactically transparent” ISN’T transparent.

    Those in the social media space seem to keep on rallying for businesses, companies, brands to be open in their endeavors and honestly engage with people – and scoffs at “old school” PR that has all information vetted and crafted to control the message to the masses…

    Yet if they can’t stand by their own convictions and be free to speak what they actually believe as candidly and openly as possible…. then how are they any different?

    Authenticity & transparency can’t be put through a filter, no matter how thin, and still remain 100% honest. Don’t you agree?

    How could someone possibly claim to be authentic and/or transparent in *any* way if they’d say one thing in private (like a friendly conversation) and something else in public? (like Twitter)

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      Really interesting questions, Jordan!

      Like I said in my reply to Betsy, this post is more of an observation than a complaint. I’m never one who’s professed to be an open book or sought mass levels of fame. Not really my thing.

      I’ve operated in both traditional media and new media for a while, and run businesses that have exposure to both. And, I’ve never been a proponent of being an open book for those businesses either. Plus, I don’t know many folks that actually come out of the world of entrepreneurship or business who truly profess that people or businesses take up the doctrine known as radical transparency. They argue more for better listening and responsiveness, not so much tell-all. And, for those few who do promote the lay-it-bare approach, I can’t say I’m a fan of that doctrine.

      So, what about those two loaded words – authentic and transparent – can there be layers or levels? Yes. Transparency is simply another word for how much you choose to reveal. You could reveal everything, which would be considered radically transparent (picture a pane of glass), you could reveal some stuff, partially transparent (frosted glass) or non-transparent (opaque glass). And, there are plenty of levels in-between. It’s up to each individual to choose their level of transparency.

      On to authentic. That’s a tougher one, I think. If you act in accordance with your beliefs, but don’t SHARE every thought and action in every scenario, can you still be considered to be authentic? My sense is yes. You are still who you are, but certain people are simply privy to more of what goes on in your head. But, I think you do risk a point where you filter so much that the net impact of what’s not being said (or “softened) creates a facade or persona that no longer accurately reflects who you really are. Challenge is, I don’t know where that point is. And, it’ll be different for each person. And, it’ll likely also be context-dependent.

      It’d be a whole lot easier if it were black and white, but I just don’t see it that way.

      • Jonathan, I agree with you that there isn’t a black & white definition of transparency & authenticity… and understand that the radical approach to either may not suit most businesses or people in general. That’s perfectly acceptable to me – if they at least admit it at face value.

        It all depends on the expectations that are being set by the business or person. When I tweet @BestBuy or @GoToWebinar about something, I’m not expecting much authenticity or transparency at all – as long as information is handled accurately & timely, I could really care less if they honestly “care” about me at all. They haven’t based their platform around the concept, so I have no reason to expect it from them.

        But now when it comes to those businesses/people who have built their platform around transparency, authenticity, trust, caring, etc… I expect *much more* from them – only because they *themselves* are the ones claiming it before I’m even engaging in conversation with them. Not necessarily trying to pick on the social media “gurus”, but if their primary message is based on this concept… how can you *NOT* expect others to take whatever you say and make it public – assuming it would be more than OK with you since you’re so “real” and authentic?

  12. I think this points towards the problems with giving people power before they are ready to wield it.

    Journalists have a code of sorts, and you have to pay your dues. They might not be the most ethical on the whole, but there is some sort of code.

    On the other hand, anyone with a phone and a 3G connection can do damage to a brand or persona. I can see lawsuits on the horizon.

    Some people just have bad form…that’s the problem here.

    I recently had a conversation on Twitter via DM with someone I thought I could trust. My DM was placed into a blog post without permission. This person should’ve known better.

    • The balance of responsibility and authority is fundamental to both business and life.

      In other words, yeah; what Nathan said.

      Not affecting my life, though. Sadly, that’s probably because I’ve always been incredibly cautious about what I say and do in public, for all the wrong reasons.

      We’ll see if my feelings change about this paradox as I work toward greater transparency and authenticity in real life.

  13. You are seriously just realizing this now? SERIOUSLY??? How long have you been doing this? The ‘net in general has created the idea that the power of the press no longer belongs to those that own one, simply because, everyone now owns one.

    I think you’ve crossed over. Don’t know which line yet, however, I’ll figure it out eventually….

  14. Bridget says:

    Everything said is said in context to a relationship. When I am talking one-to-one, I can see that the other person understands me. I can be my very authentic self, or I can carefully control the conversation to create the effect that I want.
    When my words go out into social media, I stop having the ability to observe how people are taking my words. The relationship stops being as transparent as one would like.
    That’s an opportunity to be more authentic, rather than less.
    When we hedge, that’s when people can sense that we’re not being entirely authentic, and that’s when people stop trusting.

    The more we’re out and authentic, the less we have to worry about being taken out of context, because we have a body of work behind us that supports us.

    If I hear something attributed to Jonathan Fields, and it sounds out of context to the Jonathan Fields that I’m aware of, I can compare it, and apply the Jonathan Fields “filter” to enable me to integrate that out of context though to the greater Jonathan Fields.

    Does this help?

  15. Debbie Ferm says:

    I love Crystal’s comment above. The person who tweets about a conversation that was eavesdropped on IS a “special kind of jackass!”

    You’re absolutely right, Crystal. Let’s not legitimize these people.

  16. ryan says:

    You are the king of my twitter feed, so I find this article both accurate and ironic! And yes, I will retweet this post.

  17. I understand your point, but I think you should take in consideration that if your words can be taken out of context and be published via social media right away, you as a user of social media are ALSO able to ‘restore’ any ‘damage’ right away via the same social media. Unlike TV and newspapers, a misquotation isn’t just sent out into the world and that’s it. Unlike TV and newspapers the receiver of content is more than often also a participator in it. She interprets and reacts. You can react and explain. I think your question and concerns are not so much about how authentic we can be on social media (I think that’s a whole different discussion) but more about how much we can trust our fellow social media user. Do we think she is merely a receiver of content (that might be out of context) and is likely to interpret it as a factuality or do you trust her enough to be a critical participant in content creation? Your post inspires me to think about this question. Is social media giving birth to new critical media participants or are we still just watching TV?

  18. Topi says:

    I don’t think it’s the technology, so much as the fact that the rules around the use of this technology (legal and social) are still in their infancy. Unfortunately, I think it’s going to take a few uncomfortable experiences before we can begin to generate some of those rules, and have them accepted by the majority. And, it’s not just those of us who use social media who are affected. As you’ve pointed out, someone can overhear a conversation and twitter it without the people involved in that conversation being social media users. Interestingly, there are rules around recording a conversation that you’re not involved in, but do they now extend to reporting in the social media a conversation that you weren’t a part of? My rule, treat others as you’d like to be treated. Ask before you report, and if you get permission to report then do so faithfully.

    • What should my expectations be, as a reporter at an event? If I overhear a conversation about someone’s experiences, isn’t my duty to let the rest of the people know about that? You’re in a public place, with no expectation of privacy. Furthermore, they’ve posted a notice stating that you may be filmed or recorded by simply attending. If you didn’t read that, it’s on you.

  19. Lisa Gates says:

    Seems to me the question we need to pose to ourselves before talking in any digital space, and definitely IRL, is “Why am I talking? Am I adding value, or am I just filling up space with my ego?”

    I think we can be transparent when we have checked in with our authentic selves. Is this a conversation that’s authentic to me?” Perhaps less talk, more listening?

  20. Recently, I attended an event with other bloggers and was really surprised to see how quickly and frequently, my fellow bloggers would tweet anything that was happening “in real life.” It almost felt like competing news networks — who could get the word out on twitter faster and sooner. There was no time for processing what was going on. So I can fully appreciate the instintual fear to be cautious and not become part of a conversation that can be quickly spread.

    Angelica Perez, Modern Familia

  21. Juliemarg says:

    It’s a case of the law of unintended consequences I think. The social media world has preached to businesses that they need to accept and embrace public consumer feedback – tough luck if sites like yelp are snarky or harsh.

    It becomes increasingly OK for someone to tweet that an individual should be fired for not living up to the readers expectations. Even if those expectations are unreasonable.

    Pretty soon we’re all critics and we’re all celebrities and the world is a meaner place.

  22. Chris Bruce says:

    It kinda brings to light the question “Who is big brother?” The George Orwell novel and subsequent movie had Big Brother being “the man” , but had he known what social media would do to the world, would he have a different perspective?

    The term *context* is a very fragile word at the best of times, and in this new reality of “everyone brother”, being authentic and transparent poses the danger of throwing “context” to the wolves.

  23. I think we are always quoted out of context. It’s like the game of telephone we say something in someone’s ear and four people later it has changed. Social media has not only an immediacy to it but the numbers have increased.

    I have a friend who will pull something I have said and tell a hundred people because he thinks it is funny. I have learned to edit in front of him and let him know that. He is offended I do that and I told him it is the price he pays for using me for his pleasure.

    Unless a conversation is recorded some thing will be lost or misconstrued in translation. I can’t say I get it right and it may take time for things to shake out and make sense.

  24. It’s a fast and furious world with social media. You are right, people will always take things out of context, and now it’s even easier. Love it though, in the long run it brings us all together. Connects everyone in a manner not otherwise possible. Connections, understanding, flattening the world, and hopefully helping to bring empathy and peace.

  25. Steve says:

    As someone currently on parole, I understand “having skeletons in your closet”. That said, here’s my take on authenticity & transparency: ASSUME EVERYONE KNOWS ABOUT ALL OF YOUR PAST MISTAKES! The people who take the time to get to know you will also know when something you supposedly said doesn’t sound quite right. Those looking for a reason to dislike you, will do so no matter what evidence to the contrary they are presented. After 18 months using Twitter I only have 77 followers because I take the time to vet each one carefully. My website doesn’t appeal to many people but the ones who like it are VERY supportive. I make zero income from my websites, but if the money were more important than the message I would feel sleazy. Worrying about what others think is just wasted time that could be used for something more important; like watching paint dry! It may also cause you to give up your right to free speech. Do we really need to encourage further erosion of the few rights we have left?

  26. Jonathan,

    I’ve been to so many luncheons and events, with speakers and moderators first rule of business: no live tweeting, this is “off the record” or some other “2nd rule of Fight Club” disclosure.

    ITA with you – the game has changed: ANYONE can be a reporter, share tidbits about me online. I am careful about what I share online, anywhere.. even FB which is limited to mostly personal, not professional connections.

    I don’t think I censor myself any more than normal, and at times wish I had an edit button ;-). And yet I’m aware that what I write or say can be rebroadcast, retransmitted without my express permission. I’m authentic, the real me, but there’s more authenticity to me than just what I write, Tweet or say. FWIW.

  27. Kelly says:

    I’m a consultant working with Palo Alto Networks; they have an excellent whitepaper on the subject of blocking social networking apps that you may have to worry about, “To Block or Not. Is that the question?” here: http://bit.ly/d2NZRp. It has lots of insightful and useful information about identifying and controlling Enterprise 2.0 apps (Facebook, Twitter, Skype, etc.)
    You can register for this webinar now that looks really forward thinkin. It delves into social media and the role it will play in the future of the business world http://bit.ly/cR80Al

  28. Krisenkindt says:

    Seriously, someone whom you didn’t know twittered your quote just like that and even told you?
    Thats strange and awkward. What did you respond?

    I mean, when someone says something on twitter, facebook, comments, what not and its shared and passed on that might be unfortunate at times, but you should be expecting it cause thats what the web is: Public.

    But in my understanding of privacy (and work ethics, too, by the way), you should never publish anything you would not to be published about yourself (or have your grandma read it) in any way. Especially not private scenes, may it be quotes or pictures or videos.
    And if you took one and it can help prosecution or a good cause: Go to the people that need it (aka polics) or ask the people in it if they are okay using it (like you’d need an okay from a model to be published on a stockphoto webpage).

    Just because its getting all fancy, fast, and easy doesn’t mean we need to throw our education overboard, and noone should ever life censor himself… I am about any kind of censorship, and that one especially. Seriously. SERIOUSLY.

  29. Catherine Laguna says:

    I see this in my eighth grade classroom. The students don’t want to speak up or participate too much…anything they say or do in school may come back to haunt them on face book. Kids will make fun of anything!

  30. simba says:

    This is so weird, I’ve had the same thoughts quite recently. I’ve come upon a theory of communication which is that repression is totally necessary for artistic expression. By taking myself away from blogging or online avenues of expression, my desire to express becomes blocked. Ideas I think have to be given time to incubate, even almost overspill until it finds a suitable way to show itself. All our avenues for expression now I think are characteristically (online anyway) brief and lacking in “depth”. The online world is a fast one, its different from reading a book, or taking somebody in fully, or having a conversation, or taking in nature. YET I think that because of its ability to house so much information, it gives an impression of being close to reality. But its a salient format, its a screen with information. Its different from going outside and taking in the world with one’s 6 senses. By blocking my expressive channels, especially online, and not yet finding a medium to express it, I have put this need nowhere yet it will always be there. Maybe my desire to be authentic will now come out in different ways, even if I block my writing channel, it will become housed in my Self, and it will no doubt express itself in some other way, maybe in conversation, maybe in an act, maybe in a change in life direction…I don’t know, but for me the constant expression, can water down/dissipate a certain energy. It’s something I feel. I used to invest myself into other things, like in writing, but with an online presence I put everything there, the urge to publish is like an itch, and because of this ideas don’t incubate. That energy if collected and mulled over might have come out as a book rather than 100 blog posts, and for me writing a story instead of writing a blog post gives me so much more depth to my character and well being. The dissipation of energy is something I have been feeling so Im quitting the convenient avenues for a long time and seeing what happens. So far so good though, I just had a short story idea, and I haven’t had one in ages, I can’t wait to write it.

  31. [...] a thought-provoking piece by Jonathan Fields over at Awake @ The Wheel. His post, titled “Is Social Media Killing Authenticity?” asks if the possibility of being quoted out of context by anyone around us, now that [...]

  32. [...] via Is Social Media Killing Authenticity?. [...]

  33. Michael says:

    I think the bottom line is that so many people are using (and abusing) social media that originality and creativity have taken a back seat to making money.