Are We Fooling Ourselves To Think Intimacy Can Be Created Online Through Social Media?


[image by Jesse Millan]


In the last year I have blogged on the topics of ambient intimacy/ambient awareness, as well as some of the discussion involving the use of technology in fostering intimacy. I was a big fan of this topic, and a believer in the use of technology in fostering intimacy. Especially how the sharing of minor details in our life online can create a sense of belonging and togetherness.

I have experienced in my own life how the sharing of myself online via Twitter, Facebook, my blog, etc. have brought me closer to those I am contact with online. Numerous are the times that I have been able to sit down at coffee with someone I met online, and it felt like we had been friends for a long time because we knew so much about each other through our online sharing.

But can technology and social media create intimacy? That I am no longer sure of.

What has me thinking about this recently is this excerpt from David Schnarch’s Passionate Marriage where he talks about the pitfalls of other-validated intimacy in marriages (versus self-validation which is central to one achieving a healthy level of differentiation). Here is what Schnarch says:

3. Other-validated intimacy is inherently limiting because it leads to self-presentation rather than self-disclosure. When you need a reflected sense of yourself and acceptance/validation from your partner, your most important priority becomes getting the response you want. To accomplish this less than virtuous goal, you start misrepresenting, omitting, and shading information about who you really are (self-presentation), rather than disclosing the full range of yourself (intimacy). Self-presentation is the opposite of intimacy; it is a charade rather than an unmasking.

Self-presentation is one way we adapt to our partner’s differences in order to reduce our anxiety. Unfortunately, it never provides the security and acceptance we crave, because we know our partner never really knows us. Attempts to cajole someone into making us feel secure only make us insecure, the same way trying to protect ourselves through other-validated intimacy offers no real protection at all. Self-presentation creates an inherent paradox that sets the typical marital squirrel cage spinning. And as you’ll see in a few minutes, self-presentation brings us one step closer to emotional gridlock.
Passionate Marriage: Keeping Love & Intimacy Alive in Committed Relationships (David Schnarch)

Social media is a great tool for other-validation intimacy, or why else would people obsessively track their blog stats, Twitter follower numbers and number of Facebook fans? It’s a form of other-validating intimacy. It’s a way that one seeks affirmation and validation. And have you ever seen more low-level anxiety in people than when they begin to worry about their online persona and statistics? I’ve noticed it in myself.

But is it intimacy, or is it really self-presentation? How much do we omit things about us when we create our online persona for others to see?

I would argue that even the people that present themselves, and come across to others as humble, authentic and “real” are still using a form of self-presentation since it’s something they have created on their own. It’s what they want others to see of them. But it may really not be what others truly see. We are rarely completely honest with ourselves, because we are often unaware and blind to our own shortcomings and issues. That’s why true intimacy in a relationship involves the unmasking of ourselves, often by the other we are in relationship with. True intimacy involves conflict and pushing through anxiety. It involves being able to stand on our own two feet, rather than constantly needing the propping up of ourselves by our partner.

Social media allows us to create a reflected sense of ourselves through the mirroring of online affirmation we receive from others. True intimacy in a relationship doesn’t allow us to create a reflected sense of ourselves, but requires us to see and been seen for who we truly are. Blemishes and all.

I think even those that attempt to be real online can/are still masquerading behind a created sense of self that is fueled by online other validation. I sometimes wonder about those who are constantly talking about the need to be real, or authentic. That can be as much a distorted sense of self as those they castigate.

When this makes sense, you will slowly begin to see the powerful drive that allows technology to fuel so many online affairs and inappropriate relationships.

Perhaps I’m writing this post because I first noticed it in myself. Becoming aware is the first step. It is only when we are aware, that then can we take action to live more healthy lives online.

46 Comments

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  3. by Mary Beth on May 19, 2010  8:46 am Reply

    Hey Rhett - I think about this alot too. But I always come back to the notion that on or offline, we reveal what we want. We can be truthful or deceptive either way. I agree Social Media leads us to anticipate feedback, or being noticed, but can't that be the case offline as well?
    Just a thought.
    .-= Mary Beth´s last blog ..Jesus is THE WAY =-.

  4. by Mary Beth on May 19, 2010  8:46 am Reply

    Hey Rhett - I think about this alot too. But I always come back to the notion that on or offline, we reveal what we want. We can be truthful or deceptive either way. I agree Social Media leads us to anticipate feedback, or being noticed, but can't that be the case offline as well?
    Just a thought.
    .-= Mary Beth´s last blog ..Jesus is THE WAY =-.

  5. by Rhett Smith on May 19, 2010  9:16 am Reply

    Mary Beth,

    For sure, it can definitely happen offline as well. I think though, that in person, we have less of a chance to hide behind our personas. We can try, but I think people are better able to see through us to our real selves. I think we have a better chance of being known....in person. There is huge value in face to face.

    We as people can reveal whatever we want, but I think some of the studies out there, and my own experience and those I talk to, point to the direction that people are more selective of what they share with people online. It seems like they are more open (but it can be just info.), rather than real intimacy.

    I have no doubt that an online group like your prayer group is probably pretty intimate. But I would bet that much of that has to do with some of the offline relationships you have struck with those people as well.

    Obviously I'm wrestling with this. I wouldn't have wrote this a year ago, but I keep running into things that are teaching me/showing me different.

    Rhett
    .-= Rhett Smith´s last blog ..Are We Fooling Ourselves To Think Intimacy Can Be Created Online Through Social Media? =-.

    • by Mary Beth on May 19, 2010  9:27 am Reply

      I agree a prayer group leads to intimacy by nature, and I have met most of them offline.

      Funny - it's ALWAYS my desire to meet my online friends offline.

      But I love how online connections adds that dimension of 'knowing' someone ahead of meeting them. Meeting online friends offline (now outside the ministry conference circles) is happening more and more for me. I must say, I love it! It just enhances the connection and increases my desire to stay connected online.

      Keep sharing what your learnings with us, Rhett!
      .-= Mary Beth´s last blog ..Jesus is THE WAY =-.

      • by Rhett Smith on May 19, 2010  11:25 pm Reply

        Mary Beth:

        yeah, that's one of my goals...always try to connect in person with people that I meet online.

        i agree, that the online convo. with people really "greases the wheels" for me (can't think of a better phrase), so that when I do meet them, it can sometimes feel like we are old friends.

        but I'm still not sure if that is intimacy...but I'm open...just seeking clarity right now.
        .-= Rhett Smith´s last blog ..Are We Fooling Ourselves To Think Intimacy Can Be Created Online Through Social Media? =-.

  6. by Rhett Smith on May 19, 2010  9:16 am Reply

    Mary Beth,

    For sure, it can definitely happen offline as well. I think though, that in person, we have less of a chance to hide behind our personas. We can try, but I think people are better able to see through us to our real selves. I think we have a better chance of being known....in person. There is huge value in face to face.

    We as people can reveal whatever we want, but I think some of the studies out there, and my own experience and those I talk to, point to the direction that people are more selective of what they share with people online. It seems like they are more open (but it can be just info.), rather than real intimacy.

    I have no doubt that an online group like your prayer group is probably pretty intimate. But I would bet that much of that has to do with some of the offline relationships you have struck with those people as well.

    Obviously I'm wrestling with this. I wouldn't have wrote this a year ago, but I keep running into things that are teaching me/showing me different.

    Rhett
    .-= Rhett Smith´s last blog ..Are We Fooling Ourselves To Think Intimacy Can Be Created Online Through Social Media? =-.

    • by Mary Beth on May 19, 2010  9:27 am Reply

      I agree a prayer group leads to intimacy by nature, and I have met most of them offline.

      Funny - it's ALWAYS my desire to meet my online friends offline.

      But I love how online connections adds that dimension of 'knowing' someone ahead of meeting them. Meeting online friends offline (now outside the ministry conference circles) is happening more and more for me. I must say, I love it! It just enhances the connection and increases my desire to stay connected online.

      Keep sharing what your learnings with us, Rhett!
      .-= Mary Beth´s last blog ..Jesus is THE WAY =-.

      • by Rhett Smith on May 19, 2010  11:25 pm Reply

        Mary Beth:

        yeah, that's one of my goals...always try to connect in person with people that I meet online.

        i agree, that the online convo. with people really "greases the wheels" for me (can't think of a better phrase), so that when I do meet them, it can sometimes feel like we are old friends.

        but I'm still not sure if that is intimacy...but I'm open...just seeking clarity right now.
        .-= Rhett Smith´s last blog ..Are We Fooling Ourselves To Think Intimacy Can Be Created Online Through Social Media? =-.

  7. by Beloved Spear on May 19, 2010  10:28 am Reply

    Avoiding the "stats" compulsion is important. Focusing on numbers is a sign that the relational component has become less significant than the solipsistic need for validation.

    Online social interaction can provide a filter that permits the inverse of intimacy. Folks can posture or abuse others far more easily from behind the barrier of relative anonymity.

    On the other hand, it can cement existing meatspace relationships, establishing a stronger connection with those who you know out here in the real world. It can also create connections with kindred souls that would otherwise not be developed. I've corresponded with several folks for years in the blogosphere...to the point where I feel they aren't just "internet friends." Just friends. Though the relationships are mediated electronically, they are still close, open, and real.
    .-= Beloved Spear´s last blog ..Judge Moore and The Democracy Delusion =-.

  8. by Beloved Spear on May 19, 2010  10:28 am Reply

    Avoiding the "stats" compulsion is important. Focusing on numbers is a sign that the relational component has become less significant than the solipsistic need for validation.

    Online social interaction can provide a filter that permits the inverse of intimacy. Folks can posture or abuse others far more easily from behind the barrier of relative anonymity.

    On the other hand, it can cement existing meatspace relationships, establishing a stronger connection with those who you know out here in the real world. It can also create connections with kindred souls that would otherwise not be developed. I've corresponded with several folks for years in the blogosphere...to the point where I feel they aren't just "internet friends." Just friends. Though the relationships are mediated electronically, they are still close, open, and real.
    .-= Beloved Spear´s last blog ..Judge Moore and The Democracy Delusion =-.

  9. by Matt Erickson on May 19, 2010  10:31 am Reply

    Rhett, thanks for posting this. I appreciate the honest grappling you are having with this topic. The relationship between self-presentation and intimacy within the realm social media is of high importance. I grapple with this myself as I am a pastor trying to utilize social media in creative ways to connect with people and direct them to God in authentic ways.

    I agree that we must be careful about the subtle shifts in self-presentation and how that can quietly lead us into self-revelation that is unhealthy (e.g., affairs, inappropriate content viewing, unhealthy relationships).

    At the same time, we must admit that self-presentation is happening all of the time in all social realms, whether face-to-face or online. Our levels of control of self-presentation do differ in different realms, but it is always there. Social media may amplify this and/or clarify it with actions like the profile picture I choose for Facebook, but we do the same thing every morning with the outfits we choose, the car we choose to drive, or the way we style our hair. We are constantly making decisions about self-presentation.

    I think a key question that must be asked is: does the realm of social media present a necessarily more risky or dangerous form of self-presentation than our other social arenas?
    .-= Matt Erickson´s last blog ..Downsizing =-.

    • by Rhett Smith on May 19, 2010  11:28 pm Reply

      Matt:

      I concur. Self presentation happens in all areas of life....in person or online.

      That's why I think we have to become more aware of when we do that both in person and online. I just think we can hide it more easily online than in person. Not from everyone, but from a lot of people. I wonder how many of my FB, Twitter and blog followers could really know me if we didn't have an in person relationship that went beyond my self presentation?

      This is a good discussion....I'm really wrestling through this issue, so I appreciate your thoughts.

      Rhett
      .-= Rhett Smith´s last blog ..Are We Fooling Ourselves To Think Intimacy Can Be Created Online Through Social Media? =-.

  10. by Matt Erickson on May 19, 2010  10:31 am Reply

    Rhett, thanks for posting this. I appreciate the honest grappling you are having with this topic. The relationship between self-presentation and intimacy within the realm social media is of high importance. I grapple with this myself as I am a pastor trying to utilize social media in creative ways to connect with people and direct them to God in authentic ways.

    I agree that we must be careful about the subtle shifts in self-presentation and how that can quietly lead us into self-revelation that is unhealthy (e.g., affairs, inappropriate content viewing, unhealthy relationships).

    At the same time, we must admit that self-presentation is happening all of the time in all social realms, whether face-to-face or online. Our levels of control of self-presentation do differ in different realms, but it is always there. Social media may amplify this and/or clarify it with actions like the profile picture I choose for Facebook, but we do the same thing every morning with the outfits we choose, the car we choose to drive, or the way we style our hair. We are constantly making decisions about self-presentation.

    I think a key question that must be asked is: does the realm of social media present a necessarily more risky or dangerous form of self-presentation than our other social arenas?
    .-= Matt Erickson´s last blog ..Downsizing =-.

    • by Rhett Smith on May 19, 2010  11:28 pm Reply

      Matt:

      I concur. Self presentation happens in all areas of life....in person or online.

      That's why I think we have to become more aware of when we do that both in person and online. I just think we can hide it more easily online than in person. Not from everyone, but from a lot of people. I wonder how many of my FB, Twitter and blog followers could really know me if we didn't have an in person relationship that went beyond my self presentation?

      This is a good discussion....I'm really wrestling through this issue, so I appreciate your thoughts.

      Rhett
      .-= Rhett Smith´s last blog ..Are We Fooling Ourselves To Think Intimacy Can Be Created Online Through Social Media? =-.

  11. by Mandy on May 19, 2010  11:20 am Reply

    We are all in a dance of sorts with ourselves. Coming in and out of hiding. Wondering how much of ourselves we are safe to share. Wondering, at times, who the heck we even are. It's part of being a human I think. So our social web extends now to the the internet? I think that's okay. We will find our bearings, give us some time. And those of us who are chasing after Truth and longing to come out of hiding will do so, even online. If there is darkness and danger and pitfalls lingering in this social sphere, all the more reason to flood it with light. At least that's how I feel about it today. Ask me again tomorrow, when I've spent too much time worrying about why no one is commenting on my blog and then I'll be able to give you my opposing thoughts. Thanks for stirring the conversation Rhett!

    • by Rhett Smith on May 19, 2010  11:31 pm Reply

      Mandy:

      Appreciate your honesty....

      "At least that’s how I feel about it today. Ask me again tomorrow, when I’ve spent too much time worrying about why no one is commenting on my blog and then I’ll be able to give you my opposing thoughts."

      That comment by you is probably why I have been thinking about this stuff....I started to become more aware, and that caused me to think more seriously on this issue. It's something I'm really wrestling with, so I'm trying to seek some clarity on this issue.

      One of the reasons that I love LC.tv and the work that Tony and others do...is that they just don't see the online stuff as an end in itself. But they follow up with people and work on getting people involved offline in groups, etc. They realize the power and gift of social media, but they also realize the power and gift of people meeting face to face. I like when both can go hand in hand.

      Thanks for your comments.....

      Rhett
      .-= Rhett Smith´s last blog ..Are We Fooling Ourselves To Think Intimacy Can Be Created Online Through Social Media? =-.

  12. by Mandy on May 19, 2010  11:20 am Reply

    We are all in a dance of sorts with ourselves. Coming in and out of hiding. Wondering how much of ourselves we are safe to share. Wondering, at times, who the heck we even are. It's part of being a human I think. So our social web extends now to the the internet? I think that's okay. We will find our bearings, give us some time. And those of us who are chasing after Truth and longing to come out of hiding will do so, even online. If there is darkness and danger and pitfalls lingering in this social sphere, all the more reason to flood it with light. At least that's how I feel about it today. Ask me again tomorrow, when I've spent too much time worrying about why no one is commenting on my blog and then I'll be able to give you my opposing thoughts. Thanks for stirring the conversation Rhett!

    • by Rhett Smith on May 19, 2010  11:31 pm Reply

      Mandy:

      Appreciate your honesty....

      "At least that’s how I feel about it today. Ask me again tomorrow, when I’ve spent too much time worrying about why no one is commenting on my blog and then I’ll be able to give you my opposing thoughts."

      That comment by you is probably why I have been thinking about this stuff....I started to become more aware, and that caused me to think more seriously on this issue. It's something I'm really wrestling with, so I'm trying to seek some clarity on this issue.

      One of the reasons that I love LC.tv and the work that Tony and others do...is that they just don't see the online stuff as an end in itself. But they follow up with people and work on getting people involved offline in groups, etc. They realize the power and gift of social media, but they also realize the power and gift of people meeting face to face. I like when both can go hand in hand.

      Thanks for your comments.....

      Rhett
      .-= Rhett Smith´s last blog ..Are We Fooling Ourselves To Think Intimacy Can Be Created Online Through Social Media? =-.

  13. by Ben on May 19, 2010  2:56 pm Reply

    Oh Rhett, such a good writer you are. This post made me think of the debate at CWC on whether the church online is positive or negative. In a way, you almost made the argument against it. Isn't part of attending a church so that you can build intimate relationships with other people who see consistently and can also encourage/challenge you when necessary?
    What I have noticed is, the people who desire others to be real and open; tend to notice the people who are great at self-presentation and they hate it. While everyone has a specific way of presenting themselves, I would say that our culture has made it easier to treat our lives like public relation controlled stories. Maybe that is simply the political correctness of our society and a fear to rock the boat, lest you get rejected?
    Just some thoughts.
    .-= Ben´s last blog ..Church Has Become Complicated =-.

    • by Rhett Smith on May 19, 2010  11:35 pm Reply

      Ben:

      Thanks man. Always appreciate your comments. Funny you mention the CWC debate since I wasn't there.

      I actually am in favor of online church, but I don't know if every online church has the same goals in the end. One of the reasons that I partner with LC.tv is that they see the value in social media (as I do), but they also take the extra steps to get people plugged in into real life communities (small groups, prayer groups, local churches, professional counseling help, etc.). When I visit with them I'm always impressed with the in person tangible nature of their work with people online that transmits offline.

      This is obviously something I wrestle with and am trying to understand it better. But as I think through it more myself, I'm still in total support of online church. People may see that as talking out of both sides of my mouth...maybe I am. But it makes sense to me.

      I'm going to see Tony Steward on Friday....now I can see him online, but there is something in seeing him face to face. We have a chance to be more real and open...not that we aren't online, but so much more happens in person.

      Know what I mean?

      Rhett
      .-= Rhett Smith´s last blog ..Are We Fooling Ourselves To Think Intimacy Can Be Created Online Through Social Media? =-.

  14. by Ben on May 19, 2010  2:56 pm Reply

    Oh Rhett, such a good writer you are. This post made me think of the debate at CWC on whether the church online is positive or negative. In a way, you almost made the argument against it. Isn't part of attending a church so that you can build intimate relationships with other people who see consistently and can also encourage/challenge you when necessary?
    What I have noticed is, the people who desire others to be real and open; tend to notice the people who are great at self-presentation and they hate it. While everyone has a specific way of presenting themselves, I would say that our culture has made it easier to treat our lives like public relation controlled stories. Maybe that is simply the political correctness of our society and a fear to rock the boat, lest you get rejected?
    Just some thoughts.
    .-= Ben´s last blog ..Church Has Become Complicated =-.

    • by Rhett Smith on May 19, 2010  11:35 pm Reply

      Ben:

      Thanks man. Always appreciate your comments. Funny you mention the CWC debate since I wasn't there.

      I actually am in favor of online church, but I don't know if every online church has the same goals in the end. One of the reasons that I partner with LC.tv is that they see the value in social media (as I do), but they also take the extra steps to get people plugged in into real life communities (small groups, prayer groups, local churches, professional counseling help, etc.). When I visit with them I'm always impressed with the in person tangible nature of their work with people online that transmits offline.

      This is obviously something I wrestle with and am trying to understand it better. But as I think through it more myself, I'm still in total support of online church. People may see that as talking out of both sides of my mouth...maybe I am. But it makes sense to me.

      I'm going to see Tony Steward on Friday....now I can see him online, but there is something in seeing him face to face. We have a chance to be more real and open...not that we aren't online, but so much more happens in person.

      Know what I mean?

      Rhett
      .-= Rhett Smith´s last blog ..Are We Fooling Ourselves To Think Intimacy Can Be Created Online Through Social Media? =-.

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  17. by Paul Steinbrueck on May 19, 2010  5:29 pm Reply

    Hey Rhett, great topic of conversation. I agree with you that there is a lot of self-presentation happening in social media. But I think there's a lot more to social media than just tweets and Facebook posts, which tend to be most prone to self-presenting. Some other aspects of social media can actually lend themselves to being more self-revealing than offline interactions.

    This post ended up inspiring a full-blog post of my own which I posted to Christian Web Trends:

    http://blog.ourchurch.com/2010/05/19/can-intimacy-be-created-through-social-media/

  18. by Paul Steinbrueck on May 19, 2010  5:29 pm Reply

    Hey Rhett, great topic of conversation. I agree with you that there is a lot of self-presentation happening in social media. But I think there's a lot more to social media than just tweets and Facebook posts, which tend to be most prone to self-presenting. Some other aspects of social media can actually lend themselves to being more self-revealing than offline interactions.

    This post ended up inspiring a full-blog post of my own which I posted to Christian Web Trends:

    http://blog.ourchurch.com/2010/05/19/can-intimacy-be-created-through-social-media/

  19. by Ben on May 20, 2010  12:08 am Reply

    Don't worry, I am a convert to Lifechurch's model also. ;-) They have done a phenomenal job of covering some complicated issues. You were kinda there, when Drew Goodmanson was talking about online models, at least I think you were.

    I am huge on face to face and the best moments for me is when I can sit down and have a one on one chat with someone. Which I have had a handful of since I moved out here to SC. But God is good eh?

    Your posts are really great, so happy that you think this stuff through.
    .-= Ben´s last blog ..Church Has Become Complicated =-.

  20. by Ben on May 20, 2010  12:08 am Reply

    Don't worry, I am a convert to Lifechurch's model also. ;-) They have done a phenomenal job of covering some complicated issues. You were kinda there, when Drew Goodmanson was talking about online models, at least I think you were.

    I am huge on face to face and the best moments for me is when I can sit down and have a one on one chat with someone. Which I have had a handful of since I moved out here to SC. But God is good eh?

    Your posts are really great, so happy that you think this stuff through.
    .-= Ben´s last blog ..Church Has Become Complicated =-.

  21. by Susie Shaw on May 20, 2010  1:07 am Reply

    I have just ventured into the 'social media' world and find myself on a large learning curve. As authentic as I may try to be I realize I am free to filter and arrange the good parts of my 'presented self'' I like the differentiation you offered between that and true intimacy. I think it was anne jackson who said social media is a way to connect, but it's not community. so while i love the opportunities and new 'connections' various venues offer i am cautious to call it real community. i am enjoying the way, things like twitter and other blogs, are provoking me, causing me to articulate inner musings and directing me into love and good deeds (but i'm equally aware it can be a 'hidden world' where we talk about a lot of stuff but don't necessarily live in the mess of life on life relationships. anyhow, glad i found you.

  22. by Susie Shaw on May 20, 2010  1:07 am Reply

    I have just ventured into the 'social media' world and find myself on a large learning curve. As authentic as I may try to be I realize I am free to filter and arrange the good parts of my 'presented self'' I like the differentiation you offered between that and true intimacy. I think it was anne jackson who said social media is a way to connect, but it's not community. so while i love the opportunities and new 'connections' various venues offer i am cautious to call it real community. i am enjoying the way, things like twitter and other blogs, are provoking me, causing me to articulate inner musings and directing me into love and good deeds (but i'm equally aware it can be a 'hidden world' where we talk about a lot of stuff but don't necessarily live in the mess of life on life relationships. anyhow, glad i found you.

  23. by John on May 28, 2010  1:54 am Reply

    Rhett, what a compelling and convicting post. I love interacting, and I make it a point to be as authentic to who I am in real life as I possibly can. I agree through it is so easy to fall into that validation mode. I even have stopped looking at my click stats to attempt a purge of that compulsion to be validated. Deeper though I think than the act itself, is a need that is going unmet. To be validated is a human need meant to be fulfilled by God and his love. If I am craving that in others, even my spouse, I know it is time to go spend some time alone with God.
    Thanks for the awesome read and what it does to my soul.

    • by Rhett Smith on June 1, 2010  1:08 pm Reply

      John,

      "Deeper though I think than the act itself, is a need that is going unmet." Totally agree....it points to something larger so that's why it is important for us to pay attention to these things. Ask ourselves why we feel that need....I loved what you hit on there....

      Thanks for commenting.

      Rhett
      .-= Rhett Smith´s last blog ..Leaders Are Only As “Successful” As Their Level of Differentiation =-.

  24. by John on May 28, 2010  1:54 am Reply

    Rhett, what a compelling and convicting post. I love interacting, and I make it a point to be as authentic to who I am in real life as I possibly can. I agree through it is so easy to fall into that validation mode. I even have stopped looking at my click stats to attempt a purge of that compulsion to be validated. Deeper though I think than the act itself, is a need that is going unmet. To be validated is a human need meant to be fulfilled by God and his love. If I am craving that in others, even my spouse, I know it is time to go spend some time alone with God.
    Thanks for the awesome read and what it does to my soul.

    • by Rhett Smith on June 1, 2010  1:08 pm Reply

      John,

      "Deeper though I think than the act itself, is a need that is going unmet." Totally agree....it points to something larger so that's why it is important for us to pay attention to these things. Ask ourselves why we feel that need....I loved what you hit on there....

      Thanks for commenting.

      Rhett
      .-= Rhett Smith´s last blog ..Leaders Are Only As “Successful” As Their Level of Differentiation =-.

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