Matt Jones on whether he should have come out on the Internet at all

Spiritual Friendship blog

Interesting section on Internet mania. First his “cons”

But perhaps the greatest danger is found within me (sort of like Alien, you know?). There’s a kind of mania that comes with writing something and putting it on the internet, and it directly threatens to undermine the very reason I came out in the first place. A central part of my decision to be honest about my sexuality is the desire to foster authenticity. To be closeted usually requires a constant and exhausting self-awareness, a meticulous and intense image-management that can only be maintained through various forms of manipulation, half-truths, and, at times, outright deception.

I found such an existence to be increasingly antithetical to my faith and thus I “stopped lying.” But the internet poses a similar problem. Suddenly, that dimming impulse to assess everything I say and how it might affect my image begins to flare up again, and “authenticity” is infected with sensationalism to increase reader interest. Writing becomes less about sharing my story so that others may be encouraged and more about others listening to my story so that I can feel affirmed. It is a rather magnificent perversion that what should be an important step toward healing and wholeness can just as quickly plunge me back into the very sins I’m running from.

Link to Part 2 which has his “pros”. My comments (not quotes which I usually put in italics)

  • These are the reflections of a 23 year old Fuller Sem student on whether or not “coming out” on the web was a good thing or not. Someone in his position faces enormous pressures from two opposing camps.

    One easy dodge culturally is individualism out “well if that works for you”, but we all realize that personal decisions of self denial make deeper statements. It’s easy to say to Matt Jones “well you’re only 23, do you think you can maintain this position all your life?!” and probably a wiser answer would be “not without a very strong, supportive community around me” yet our communities tend to be too transitory and shallow.

    We’ve seen assumed public positions change so quickly its hard to know what outliar religious communities will do. Contrarian pressure sometimes enables minority communities to endure and even thrive, sometimes it warps them to double down on things that don’t matter to a ridiculous degree.

About PaulVK

Husband, Father of 5, Pastor
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