Musings

How Much Should we Share Online?

Hello, friends! I hope that your Wednesday is going well. Almost to Friday! I’ve been working on this blog post for a little while now. I wanted to make sure that it was executed correctly. I wanted to be very careful to not hurt anyone’s feelings with it or anything of the like. I understand that life is different for everyone and that the internet plays a very different role in people’s lives. As always, I can only speak from my own experience.

I think that for everyone out there, the amount shared on the internet will vary, which makes perfect sense. It’s never in good taste to bully others online, but besides that, I understand that everyone has varying levels of comfort with what they share online. My mom, for example, has absolutely no social media and she couldn’t be happier about it. I one time mentioned that I saw a meal she pinned on Pinterest and she was shocked to find out it was public, “Oh, I don’t like that at all!”. I think that we have to find what works for us, but in a way, of course, that doesn’t negatively effect us. It’s not kind to make posts bullying others, but it’s probably also not in our best interest to make posts complaining about jobs, or even posting things that could deter employers from wanting to hire us.

It’s so tempting to overshare on the internet. From personal experience, it’s especially tempting to overshare when we feel lonely. I don’t really do this anymore, but I used to quite a bit. I would post whenever I was feeling negatively, especially when I was feeling poorly about myself. I would frame it as a joke, but it really never was. It’s right at our fingertips, an abundance of people, all listening ears. I think that every person and situation is different of course, but this can be a tricky thing to navigate. When do we go from being honest online to being too honest? When I’m feeling down in the dumps and am tempted to post online, I will instead do a couple of things.

I will journal how I’m feeling. I am a strong advocate for journaling and I think that it is especially great for moments where we want to overshare. Before the days of the internet, there were diaries. I’ve been journaling since I could write and let me tell you, there are many journal entries I’m glad are not on the internet. Nothing mean or anything, but just plain embarrassing. Journaling allows us to get our emotions out in a therapeutic and private way.

Or, I will call/text a friend to talk about whatever is bothering me. Most of the time we just need to get it out of our systems. I know that when we feel lonely, sometimes we feel as though we have nobody to talk to. While talking to someone who cares is the number one choice, journaling is a close number two. Again, every situation is different. I am not here to judge others for how they handle their feelings, I just want to give some options.

I think it’s important for us to periodically review our own social media and ask ourselves if it’s representing us in a way that we see appropriate. People change and sometimes you posted something that you thought was fine, but you review it and no longer want it online. I don’t think that there should be anything wrong with this. Our social media, after all, exists for us. If we don’t like something that we posted, it is within our rights to delete it. We need to be comfortable with what we are posting, because it’s often people’s first impression of us. I know that whenever I’ve started a new job, my co-workers will always tell me that they stalked my Facebook or Instagram before I started. I’ve also done it when other new people were hired on. I think it’s important to make sure your online persona is one that you feel comfortable it.

We face a dilemma that’s unique to to this generation. It can be very hard to refrain from posting things, because in the moment it seemed like a good idea. For me, a question I try to ask before posting is: Would I be comfortable talking about this in person? Again, this won’t apply to every situation, but I find it to be helpful. I cringe to think of some of the stuff I’ve posted in the past, but you live and you learn.

An example that comes to mind is when Bobby and I got engaged. I wanted to post it on Facebook right away, I was just so excited about it, I wanted the whole world to know! Instead of doing that right away, I did quite a few phone calls and texts to those that I’m very close to. The ones who would have felt sad if they had found out via Facebook.

I think that we must think before we post, even if it’s not inappropriate, will it make someone sad? Is it something that you should try to tell those close with you first, or is it okay for them to figure out on Facebook? It obviously differs situation to situation, person to person, but it’s definitely something to consider.

I think another thing that is very important is to be our genuine self on our social media. I think that for everyone, their online persona versus how they are in real life will always differ slightly. I WISH I was as cheerful as I was online, but sometimes, you don’t feel cheerful. I don’t think that’s being disingenuous, it’s just normal. Being genuine is important in our real life and in our internet lives.

There are also topics that some may find taboo, while others do not. I don’t think it would count as a topic per say, but for me, I don’t like to swear on my social media. I don’t swear in real-life, so for me, it doesn’t really translate to my online posting either. Some people are comfortable swearing online, which is fine. It is their personal decision. Again, what people are comfortable with differs greatly from person to person.

It’s so great being able to share so much with those on our friends lists, but I do think there is something to be said for NOT sharing everything. I think it’s important to have some moments that are private and shared between a couple of people and not the whole internet. However, yet again, I will stress that this differs person to person. I just think that we think before we post. Some people will think over a post and decide they’re not comfortable with it, where others may be in the same situation and find it 100% appropriate to post. It’s really at our own discretion, but I do think it’s important to always think before you post.

Thank you so much for reading! Have a wonderful day!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

 

 

 

 

 

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