Last week I read this post by Vanessa on her new site Bloggers and Bacon. It was about finding your boundaries as a blogger and how much is too much. It’s something that I worry about with Mr 5 and seeing the rawness written here, but I am also not ashamed of my past.
There are a plethora of blog posts talking about social media and how it is often so contrived, that the things shared are only a highlight reel, forgetting the bad stuff that has happened. However I do wonder if being real, about letting everything out warts and all, is beneficial to anyone.
On one hand we are telling our children that everything that they post online is forever. We tell them that those drunken selfies could reflect badly on them. On the other hand we are berating other adults because they aren’t being ‘real’ enough. Where is the line? Is there one at all?
I don’t think that being real, that rawness that comes with a purge of emotions, is something that needs to be shared constantly on social media. It’s not about hiding how you are feeling, or censoring but I think it’s more about allowing ourselves to sit with our emotions and letting them settle. It’s about making sure that the words you share are the words that you want people to read.
I have a rule for anything that I feel a strong emotional reaction to online. If I absolutely need to write out my feelings then I do, but I don’t do it online straight away. I let myself sit with it, and come back to it a couple of hours later, after my emotional reaction has simmered. Using this helps me to see the facts and not just red. It’s a work in progress though and things do still slip out.
We all use social media in so many different ways. I think that putting our own boundaries and rules on others is only going to cause angst. I don’t know if people need to be more real or less, that really is up to them. I just think that maybe we need to think about the motivations for being real, or not.
Writing online in a no holds barred, raw, heart on your sleeve, isn’t for everyone and that is OK. Reading words that feel personal isn’t for everyone either and that’s OK too. I think that if you set your own rules, and at the end of the day you are happy with the persona you put forward online, that is all that matters. After all, it’s you who has to live with yourself in the silence.
Do you think being too real on social media is a bad thing?
How much do you share online?