Editing becomes lying (sometimes)

Some people lie right to your face. They’ll change things that seem like facts. “No, I wasn’t even at the party last night.”

Other people lie about their reality, their perspective. “No, those jeans don’t look bad on you.”

But there’s another class of people who lie by leaving out information. We’re all in this group.

The hardest part about that last class of lying is that we have no clear way to tell what’s lying and what’s just practical.

If someone asks you what you did yesterday, you have to give an edited version. One, you don’t remember all the details. Two, you don’t have time to give all the details. Three, no one cares about all the details.

So we learn to edit in real time. And we don’t call it lying.

But I think I want to stop editing so much, at least until I learn to stop lying.

Like someone was talking to me earlier today, and I thought, You know, this is boring. I don’t want to talk about this. But I didn’t say anything about my thoughts. I kept the conversation going as if I enjoyed it.

In that situation, I think I made the right move. In that situation, it wouldn’t have helped the other person for me to have mentioned my thoughts.

But the problem is that by making the right move there, I get used to editing. So then even when I shouldn’t edit, I still do, and rationalize it as the “right move.”¬†Ah, so annoying.

I don’t know. I think I’m just tired of censoring myself, even if it is for the right reasons. That’s my own lameness.

It also annoys me, though, because I feel that if a couple of us stopped editing so much, we’d inspire other people to follow. And if other people followed, I think we’d have a better idea of the difference between editing, for the right reasons, and lying.

Because really, I don’t want the unedited version. It’s impractical. But so is lying. So there’s a middle ground: an edited version that still captures the whole truth.

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