In Search Of An Authentic Voice



Everyday after I check my email I read through a few blogs of interest. To me, this has replaced the more traditional habit of reading the newspaper. And I admit, it does make me somewhat more insulated. I read only the blogs that appeal to me and my interests or beliefs, whose bias is one I agree with.

I am a recovering journalist. One of the last few to study at university before the Internet completely transformed the way that we receive and read news. And, in many ways, the Internet has been beneficial.

And of course, there are many ways in which it has been detrimental, of which I mean to address one in particular; authenticity.

I’ve recently been working, alongside others, to help promote an organisation that wants to come across as helpful, friendly and non-judgmental. Which are, frankly speaking, social media liabilities. Nice and friendly does not increase your page interactions or your followers.

But controversial opinions, crass language and sexual innuendo do. And they blare in virtual space, drowning out the voices who do not think alike.

And so I got to thinking about all that is good and true and beautiful. And where to find them online.

Because the question remains: how do we find such gems of truth in an online world where the most ‘authentic’ voice could actually be a fraud?

It’s all rather reminiscent of courting rituals in Regency England where the pretty young debutante hides all evidence of her flaws – like preferring the company of books to men – in order to fit into the mould expected by the ton, and make an incomparable marriage.

But how is she to navigate through such veiled social occasions and find a Darcy and not a Wickham if they continue to be inauthentic? Inauthenticity, the suppression of ones true self, was a trait to be admired; being authentic didn’t really help Marianne Dashwood did it? Ok, well maybe you could argue that it did in the end but she still had her heart broken in the process.

The visual world contains a myriad of content which is, in so many ways, the rake in gentlemen’s clothing. The most authentic voices are a carefully constructed artifice and, let’s be honest, primarily a money making machine.

Product placements and advertorials abound; because they are the bloggers’ bread and butter if you’re going to be realistic. Their regular posts attract readers only not dollars.

In days gone by the celebrity endorsement was the obvious money spinner. Now it’s an insanely popular Instagrammer whose product placements feel the least contrived.

Perhaps I am too negative.

Certainly not all online content is style over substance, and a pearl of great price can be found among the deafening secular bias.

There has long been a phrase of Saint Teresa of Calcutta’s that resonated with me, and even more so in our technology laden culture: “Words which do not give the light of Christ increase the darkness.”

It is a phrase I like to call to mind before I post articles or blogs, but I think it is equally relevant to reading. It is easy to accumulate liked pages on Facebook without even trying. But if we’re really search for all that is good and true and beautiful, words that give the light of Christ, then we need to be ruthless until we arrive at a place where we consume that which inspires us to closer relationship with Him who is Goodness and Truth and Beauty Himself.

There is so much content out there that does not give Christ – and if we are to be biased at all, it must be to truth. And there is no one truer, or more authentic, than Truth Himself. So everyday, as I read through my ‘news’, I will be ‘given’ Christ.

I will deepen my relationship with Him and, God willing, become a better version of myself so that others see Him in me, and my writing.

Filed Under: FaithFeaturedJust For MumPersonal Growth

About the Author: Emily is a former ACPA award winning editor and journalist turned stay at home mum and blogger. She lives on a farm in regional NSW with her husband and their five children where she spends the time she should be doing housework reading books and writing posts.

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