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Living in a world inundated with Facebook, Twitter, Posterous, Tumblr, and blogs every which way (I would have mentioned MySpace, but I don’t think anyone legitimately uses that anymore) people lives are constantly being put on display for all the world to see.

People show their true selves online.

If you know me exclusively online (via blog, Twitter, Facebook) you probably know more about me than a person who never checks any of those venues. Why?

For one, it’s an easy way to communicate with a lot of people simultaneously. It eliminates the need to tell the same story about what happened to me last weekend over and over and over again. If you follow me on Twitter, you already know the story because I tweeted about it live?

You can learn a lot about people just by checking their Facebook page or by reading their blog or following them on Twitter. You learn who is dating whom, who got married, divorced, or separated, and who’s having a baby. These are things some people may never call and tell you, but they’ll put on their Facebook page for the world to see.

Secondly, a lot of people (myself included) find a degree of anonymity in sitting behind a computer screen. Granted, I may still be sharing all kinds of things, some very personal, but there’s comfort in not having to look in a person’s face when you say something. This is perhaps the reason people break off relationships and quit their jobs via text messages and emails.

Admittedly, I am a very open about the events of my life to a certain extent, yet I still maintain a degree of privacy. I know you might find that hard to believe me but I guarantee I could find a a few “common” questions that you wouldn’t know the answers to.

I know not everyone shares as much of their life as I do with mine, and that’s fine. But here’s my question: How much is too much to share? What do you consider personal and “sacred” and what would you put out there for the world to see? And what is your motivation? Is it to make money? To promote yourself? To bring focus to a cause? Or to help others learn and gain knowledge? If you don’t know why you’re doing it, why are you doing it? I’ll leave it to you to answer those questions.

Personally, I share my life with people so they can learn. Not because I’m perfect and everyone should do what I do and be like me — rather far from it. No, I want people to learn from everything I do, whether it’s good, bad, ugly or somewhere in between. If I am successful, I want people to learn from that. If I have a failure, I want people to learn from that as well.

I also share to so that I can promote a cause — the cause of Christ. Everyone is given a platform. Perhaps not everyone has a blog, but we all have different spheres of influence of which we’re apart. What are you promoting in those spheres? What will people remember you for?

So why do you share? What do you share? Do you share on the good and never the bad? Or only the bad and never the good (seems far fetched, but for some it’s all they do)?

[Written by Stuart McDonald for Elev8.com. For more from Stuart, check out his personal blog and follow him on Twitter]

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