A friend asked me the other day what a blog was. I figured the easy way to explain was to show her mine. This friend has internet at home and several devices but she does not participate in any social network sites. She mostly looks things up and shops, but even then, she doesn’t buy things online, she just chooses what she wants then goes to the shop and buys it. So I guess she is a little untrustworthy of the internet.
When she saw my blog she was shocked,
“why do you put all this personal stuff online for everyone to see?”
This is from someone that knows me quite well and can quite plainly see that I don’t put everything in my blog. In fact I keep lots out. However, she still thought I shared too much. Photos of my kids, telling people of places where we’d been and things we’d done.
My eldest kids (who I don’t really mention on my blog) are also very private when it comes the internet. They never use their real names, or photos despite being members of many groups and playing many online games. No-one knows anything about their real lives. They have asked me specifically not to include them here and I even had to remove my birth stories about them. (Shame because they were really interesting and some may have found them helpful, and I didn’t include names or photos)
I rarely mention my partner, or our relationship. I don’t mention our jobs or other family members. I never mention our finances, or talk about the area where we live.
I use nicknames for my kids, although these days the nicknames are used nearly as much in real life as they are on the blog, particularly Boo, who was so named long before she was actually born!
I don’t name their school or any of their friends. If I use photos of other children I get permission off their parents. Sometimes other kids get in the photos at parties and days out, it can’t be helped.
I share more personal stuff on my Facebook page but then I keep my facebook friends tight, they are all people I’ve spoken with for many years, or I have met in real life, or family. I still don’t share everything, I’m just not the type of person who runs to facebook after a row with the other half or similar.
In my opinion I don’t think I share too much. There is so much more I would like to share, so much more I’d like to get off my chest and tell the world about. But I don’t, I’m just a little too private to share it all. I think the most personal I got was when my mom was diagnosed with cancer. I used my blog (not this one) to pour out all my emotions and it really helped me to get through those few weeks she had left. I knew my friends were reading because they were sending me personal messages. I didn’t have the strength to reply but I carried on writing and answering on my blog. Then before mom was buried I had to deal with finding my brother after he committed suicide. Yes, it was a tough time, and my blog helped me, but I don’t really share all that now, well, not the emotional side anyway.
I do like to read blogs that share personal stuff. It’s not that I’m nosey, it’s just that it helps you relate to people, you find out that they are human too. I think sharing is good and I wish I could share more.
Can you share too much though?
Why do people steer clear of sharing?
I know why I do, I don’t want to upset people close to me. If your sharing effects someone else then they need to be aware of what you are sharing and agree to it.
Maybe people think that if others know too much about you they can use it against you? This can be true, especially in the world of the internet when people are more likely to attack from their keyboards when they wouldn’t say anything to your face. Some people can be cruel.
Then there are the trolls, they are everywhere and you never know when they are going to strike. They can be hell to deal with, especially if you are vulnerable, and they tend to pick on the vulnerable.
I do worry about putting my kids in the firing line. When they are young it’s not so bad, but as they get older there is always the chance that someone at school can find stuff out about them and they can end up being teased or even bullied. I run another blog about Star’s disabilities, I started it because I found it so hard to find information when she was first poorly and I wanted to put something out there for others who may find themselves in the same position. Then I realised that it may come back on her at a later date so I went through and deleted all recognisable photos of her. Hopefully, if any of her peers do come across it, they won’t know it’s her.
I’ve already made the decision that my kids will feature less on my blog as they get older. If I keep blogging I may have to take a different direction with it.
So what do you think? Do we share too much online?