I’ve written about social media’s impact on those who feel that everyone else’s life is better than theirs because their social media timeline shows them so. Although this topic is similar in nature, it’s actually the reverse. Are you comfortable sharing your true personal life on social media?
I remember when Facebook started to become really popular. On my timeline, most of my friends posted almost daily, sharing the ins and outs of their lives. It was pretty awesome seeing my friends who now live in places I’d need to book a flight to visit instead of driving down the street. I could watch their children grow through posted family pics. I could praise their accomplishments. I could even snoop into their personal lives even harder than they shared by clicking on their friends’ profile pictures and see what’s going on in their lives as well. It’s all good fun for me.
In the last couple of years, I’ve noticed a change. Most of my friends don’t post much anymore. When they do, it’s usually something pretty commendable, some inspiration, or some really funny video. I still enjoy The Book very much, but with this shift I’ve wondered if people have stopped posting as much because they are now more likely to keep their private lives private or have they just simply grown bored of sharing themselves with the masses.
For me personally, I’ve slowed on shared a lot about myself, but I do like to post on the accomplishments of myself and my children in hopes to inspire someone who may need it at that time. I’ve learned to leave my love life a mystery though. I haven’t had a bad experience myself, but I’ve seen others post daily and heavily about their mushy, gushy love for their significant other and then when it ends, everyone wants to know what’s up with that. That person usually gets offended that everyone is in their business, but we the public feel a bit obligated to know. Hell, you threw your boo in our face daily, we feel like we’ve invested in the relationship right along with you. What are “we” going to do now? “Our” heart is broken, not just yours.
Although I’m super smitten with the man I’ve been committed to for almost a year and a half, most people don’t know he even exists. I’m not hiding him…ok, I guess I am. Well, it’s not that I’m ashamed of him. I just don’t want the masses snooping and stalking like I do to other people. Yes, I just admitted that. Until we make a commitment on another level, he will remain my mystery man for my eyes only…unless you see us in public (and no, he’s not my FBF, so you can’t stalk him from my friend list. Ha).
For my friends who choose to share their lives in full color, they explained that transparency is always a positive. There are no hidden agendas, no phony personas. They give you what they are, no sugar coating. Some noted that they share their true selves depending on the topic. A wider group responded that they have chosen not to share personal details because other people are simply too judgmental.
Some have found that people they know have developed a social media persona that is not their true identity. Because these people exist, social media has become more of an internet gathering place for dishonesty and they chose to use it for entertainment purposes only.
Some are genuine with what they share, but don’t share it all. They like the element of mystery and privacy and want nothing to come in between that and their happiness.
Some feel that others may take their information for ill-gotten gains to harm them. I’ve heard of people going back to tell someone what their FBF posted in an attempt to hurt that person. That’s just trifling. Oh, was that judgmental of me?
Recently, I’ve even seen a fight between middle aged women break out on a RIP thread. Talk about judgment, I sure enough contacted a friend and we read the thread together through text while eating popcorn. Ok, it wasn’t popcorn, but you get the drift. We were definitely judgmental, but hey, who wouldn’t be?
It’s true that some people may share too much information, but who is the judge of what is too much? What I share is what I decide to share and therefore, I am the determiner of whether it is too much or not. How you interpret my depth of personal exposure is on you. Just remember that if you are not comfortable sharing your true self, make sure that you are not misrepresenting who you really are.
Translation = Don’t be fake about yourself. Be yourself enough that you can walk away from your posting and not regret what you left there. Remember, what you delete may have already been seen, screen shot, and shared. Can you live with that in real life outside of your social media page?