On Oversharing Online – Did it Even Happen if we Didn’t Instagram It?

I’ve had a few things going on recently which I haven’t been able to talk about online. Some of the things I haven’t been able to talk about at all, full stop.

As a chronic over-sharer, this has been difficult. My immediate impulse whenever anything exciting – or unexciting, actually – is going on, is to share. There’s solace in sharing and often the outpouring and instant response of sharing online is a welcome distraction to however I might be feeling. It could be a difficult bedtime with the girls, or a really lovely family experience, or an exciting trip away – whatever it is, my natural response is to share.

But this time, I haven’t been able to share. And so, it’s got me thinking, am I too used to hitting that instant “spill button” and getting my thoughts out into the ether? Have I forgotten some of the skills needed in processing stuff myself, without a huge team of people cheering me on or offering advice (or *hugs*)? 

I grew up in the age before Facebook. When I was a teenager, we’d work through big life issues (what haircut to get, whether to fancy Damon Albarn or Liam Gallagher etc) by talking them through with friends, or writing in our diary, or writing notes to our friends.

Fast-forward 20 years and it’s so easy now to bypass the actual face-to-face conversations in favour of a cryptic “You Ok Hun” type Facebook status update or a full on Insta Stories splurge. And I don’t think this is always a good thing.

When it comes to the kids, I’m desperately careful about what I share. I’m aware it’s not their choice to be online and, although Freya’s now at the age where she can sort of exercise a vote, they are still too young to give any kind of proper informed consent.

And while I never publish anything without putting it through some kind of filter, I do know that my filter is probably thinner than some (and thicker than others). I’m also more than aware of wanting to balance the need to be honest and true to myself (no #blessed here) while also protecting an element of privacy for my whole family.

Anyway, I’ve realised that when there’s stuff I can’t talk about I tend to find it hard to talk about anything at all. You know that thing when there’s a big thing looming in your head and you struggle to make small talk? Anyone?! Plus, life has been so busy the past three weeks that I’ve really struggled to just keep on top of posting here regularly and getting videos out.

And when you stop sharing so regularly, it can make you realise how much you shared in the first place. For example, I still have a day in the life video we filmed last Sunday that I haven’t yet gotten round to editing, let alone uploading. It’s made me realise how much sharing stuff from my day to day – the little things to some of the bigger things – has become something I’ve come to take for granted.

There’s not a huge point to this post, more a general question really: have we become too used to sharing? And is that a bad thing? Or not?

I’d love to know what you think.

 

P.S. I really loved this post this week from Mel Wiggins – vaguely linked to this whole subject. A really interesting read if you’ve ever considered how tied you might be to social media.

Comments

  1. says

    Hope you’re ok Molly. I think we definitely all over share and I wonder whether it’s a good thing for me personally and my family. Some days at home alone with the kids I find the sharing through social media welcome – it starts a conversation, albeit through a screen, and I feel a little less lonely. But, I too worry about family privacy, I try not to name my kids, say where we live etc and only post after we’ve been places not when we’re actually there. The constant sharing annoys my husband, and I’m starting to think I might sack it all off altogether for a quieter life! Or at least have spells where my phone is left at home!

  2. says

    I know exactly what you mean! When I was going through IVF and then in the v early stages of pregnancy, I wasn’t sharing it online and it then felt very hard to share anything online. It felt like I wasn’t being authentic and the one thing I wanted to be honest about, I couldn’t.

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