Starting tonight, we are on the other side of the couchsurfing experiment. A couple from Germany is travelling across Canada and for the next 2 nights, they will lay their heads on our futon when they go to sleep.
Last week I attended a seminar where the speaker said 92% of people trust the word of an acquaintance. That is why websites like TripAdvisor and Epinions are so popular.
When I received the couchsurfing request, the first thing I did was check out their profile to see what kind of ratings other people had given these guests. All positive. I don't know any of the other people, but for some reason I trust them. I believe they are telling the truth.
It's very easy to massage the way you present yourself online. We untag ourselves from embarrassing photos on Facebook. We are very careful to put out exactly what we want people to see.
Have you seen anyone tweet that they just fought with their spouse and want a divorce?
Has one of your friends posted pictures of themselves with puffy eyes and bed-head?
How many people blog about their lack of devotional time or that they have given up on God?
We present this polished image of ourselves online. I do it. You do it. We all do it. Online, we are perfect.
But we're not.
I'm not saying we should go online and intentionally post pictures of our acne-scarred teenage years, or blog about how we elected to watch an episode of Jersey Shore instead of spending time with God. No one needs to know that you're struggling with lust and you're having a hard time staying faithful to your spouse. (Actually you probably should talk to someone about that)
All I'm saying is that you need to be careful, because not everything you see online is entirely true.
I'll let you know how the couchsurfing thing turns out next week.