The very word seems like the antithesis to democracy and the free world. It brings to mind WWII and blackouts. It makes you think of being oppressed or controlled by someone or something.
Censor: the word is defined as a person who examines books, movies, letters, etc. and removes things that are considered to be offensive, immoral, and harmful to society, etc. By this definition, we can understand that our original bad taste of this word is correct.
Or is it?
I’ve blogged about it before, but authenticity and transparency are the catch-phrases of our world today, especially in millennial and Christian circles (not millennial Christian, but that too). Being real. Letting yourself be vulnerable. Showing transparency in your actions. Which is all well and good within balance, but what has this often led to?
A general lack of censorship in our words and actions.
Because I’m being authentic I can tell you that our friendship isn’t working because I just don’t like who you ‘ve become. In light of transparency, I can tell you all the details of other’s private lives because they’re bothering me and that affects how I treat you. In a moment of vulnerability, I can throw a fit, because I’m “feeling all the feels” and being vulnerable. Or not.
I’m emphasizing these things in a more negative light here, because more often than not, this is how they are portrayed. It’s not pretty. It’s not happy. And it’s not actually how relationships should be. Relationships should be gone into thoughtfully, we should be mindful in our relationships, thoughtful in our actions and loving in our words. Censoring our true feelings and emotions, and first discussing if being vulnerable, transparent and authentic in this moment is really going to have a positive effect in the end. I believe censorship can have a positive effect on our lives if we are willing to engage in it personally.
I don’t believe any of us intend to be offensive, immoral or harmful in our authenticity, vulnerability or transparency, but I do believe it can backfire on us when we feel entitled to share our feelings and for others to have sympathy because of what we shared. I personally struggle with this on my blog. There are feelings that I could share here that could inspire others to share and realize that they are not alone, but they are also feelings that could deeply hurt others. There are sarcastic comments I could make here that would make readers laugh, but again, if they are pertaining to my personal life, others are involved in my life.
Their is a phrase that paraphrases the Bible saying no man is an island unto himself. As a blogger, I don’t want to isolate myself by over-sharing or to protect myself by under-sharing either. I strive to find a balance between the two. Which, as I mentioned, I struggle with. Why don’t I post daily? Because scheduling posts doesn’t necessarily work for me. I work in the moment. However, that often means that I’m feeling all the feels when I write blog posts. Is this a good thing? It’s not necessarily bad, but not inherently good either. I want to censor my writing and blog posts through a lens of Philippians 4:11 “Whatsoever things are good, lovely, of good report…think on these things.” I have to censor my life. For the betterment of others. For the betterment of my own personal relationships and self-thoughts. Transparency, authenticity and vulnerability come almost too easy to me – I was raised to be sincere, and given the room to be such—I don’t want to abuse the privilege.
What are your thoughts on censorship in your personal life?