We have a tendency in this society to build people up. Constructive criticism cannot be given without seeming offensive. I see this on a daily basis with my students. Parents tell their children that they are so smart and such awesome students even if the reality is that they really aren't. The student continues to get built up and when the teacher interjects and tries to explain that a student is struggling, the response is that it must be the teacher and not the student.
In the blogging world, I see the same thing. Readers build up the bloggers that they follow. Sometimes I read articles that are just plain common sense, yet readers respond as if whatever the blogger wrote about is ground-breaking information. It seems as though we, as individuals in this society, have been trained to want to feel important. Or it seems we do everything for gratification. Don't get me wrong, it's nice to have someone tell you that you've done well at something, but my question about authenticity comes from these thoughts-- How much of what we do is real? Is the oohing and aahing and the building people up real, or is it because everyone else is doing it? How much of it is truly sincere or is done with calculated intent? And is any of the insincere junk healthy?
When we give up our authenticity, I think we give up a lot more. We let others mold who we are instead of being ourselves, and we falsify hope within others by being inauthentic with our words and actions. Our authenticity shows who we are and if we give that up, then who are we really? Something completely fake with absolutely no substance?
We are a society that is propelled by adulation. When is someone going to tell the poor blogger with the funky headband that no one wears those in real life and they look ridiculous? Or that we already know how to have a fulfilling relationship without the self-help guide?
For me, blogging is about sharing my experiences-- how much I truly ADORE eating tacos, how annoyed it makes me that the Baltimore City Police helicopter was spying on me while suntanning, how ridiculously excited I am to share something new from my business. It is an outlet that I have needed for a long time to escaped feeling stifled from a rather uncreative daily job. The nature of blogging is that we get up on our soapboxes (hell, I'm doing it right now!), but how long do we keep up the charade of the every-single-thing-you-do-is-amazing-because-it-is-you-who-did-it commendation?
We are not always awesome, in fact rarely awesome at best. So why with the inauthentic gestures? Life is crappy a lot of times. Life is also fantastic a lot of times and if everything is played out to be happy 100% of the time, it makes me feel as though I'm in The Truman Show itself. (I hope someone got that reference because it is Jim Carey at his best. And by best, I mean, great acting, not laughing his head off like a hyena.)
Nothing is meant to be perfect and nothing ever will be. And it creeps me out when people pretend weird things and play weird parts in their big play that is their life instead of just living it and writing about it. So go give someone some constructive criticism! Tell them that they really shouldn't have worn those purple tights with a cobalt dress or that their card isn't that funny after all (yes, truly people, I hope you haven't been faking me out here the whole time or I would be crushed to know you can't be honest!). I. Can. Take. It. And we all need to learn to get a little thicker skin. It's the healthier solution in the end.