Becoming a blogger four and half years ago, I had learnt very quickly that becoming a blogger meant that I had to be quite open about my life online. I wasn’t forced to, but being a blogger meant I would have to be quite open about things eg my life and my thought and feelings on different topics.
Oversharing is part of the blogging package. Sharing your life story online is the most entertaining kind of content to publish on your blog. It draws people in, cause let’s face it, we have an intrigue with others and are generally just nosey (I mean that in the nicest way possible). There’s a kind of morbid interest in knowing what is going behind closed doors. If Sandra down the road is having an affair with the local butcher, you’d want to know all the in’s and out’s of it (not literally, but you know) like when did it start, who made the first move etc. We’re all naturally curious cats, that’s the way of it. Maybe that’s why TV shows like Big Brother and Love Island have and were massive successes.
Thinking back to oversharing, is there a pressure to share so much online to keep audiences and readers coming back to your blog/social media platforms for more? Are we prepared to potentially go that extra mile to keep our readers happy and feed them with juicy information?
Many blogger’s will share only what they want to share, which is something to be respectful of. If that blogger doesn’t want to share something personal about themselves online, don’t pressure them to share their deepest secrets, that’s just disrespectful and it is a form of bullying in a way.
Some things in life i.e. relationships, friendships, personal problems sometimes do need to be kept private. Some things do need to be kept behind closed doors.
You can think about this topic of oversharing in two ways, you can either be somebody who likes to share a lot about their life online or you could be somebody who likes to keep their life private and only share the things that people share already.
One topic that is share online which brought on a deep discussion with my Mam was talking about our mental health online. We had differing opinions on the subject as I am somebody who is all for sharing about their mental health status online. I want to be able to inspire people to speak up and be more open to the people around them. My Mam thinks it should be kept private. I reminded her that it the person’s choice of whether they want to share or not. A stigma should not be attached to speaking about mental health, it should be a topic that should be discussed in society, online or not.
From my personal perspective, I like to share my life online. I have never felt intimidated to because of my online presence, but I enjoy people getting to know my life, my likes and dislikes and what occurs in my general day to day life. I get a buzz out of sharing things like what I’m currently doing, moaning about having to dry my hair after washing it, showing my concoction of medications I take and stating a random thought that I’ve thought of when doing the hoovering.
Then there’s been a time of where I’ve had an experience of oversharing online. I remember a couple of years back, I shared an incredibly personal post online. A post I thought would be ok to share at the time, but looking back a couple of months later after I published it, I deleted it. I started to regret being so incredibly open and sharing some very personal feelings and maybe it was something I should have kept in my mind rather than broadcast it on my corner of the Internet. I did learn a lesson from that experience, now I have one rule when it comes to what I should share online – and it’s a method you can try too.
Would you be able to tell a stranger in the street about it? If you can’t – don’t tweet or post about it.
One simple rule which has worked wonders for me these last couple of years. I’d definitely try it when there’s a post or tweet you’re not certain of sharing online.
In a way, sharing online is a way to draw readers in, but I think it’s nice to kind of keep some memories or thoughts to yourself. Having that little happy memory or thought can be a little secret to yourself. Something only YOU know. It’s kind of nice to keep some things a mystery. It makes the moment or memory feel richer, in a way.
To sum up, have we shared too much online in the past? Most probably. But you learn your lesson and you know your limit as to what can be posted online and what you would like to keep to yourself. All I’ll say is is that you should only share what you feel comfortable with. Never share anything that you are not comfortable with, it’s not worth it, especially if you don’t want a barrage of people asking you probing questions.