Neither An Oversharer Nor An Undersharer Be

21st century life is a strange beast.  We’re a generation so accustomed to living life online that it’s practically second nature.  When we meet someone cool, we Facebook friend them the next day.  If we want to get the latest on a news story, we check on Twitter.  Job seeking, apartment hunting, shopping, dating, food ordering, and just about everything else is done online or through an app or in some sort of virtual world that doesn’t involve actually going anywhere.  Everyone blogs or Tumbles or shares personal playlists on Spotify or contributes to crowd sourced Flickr streams – doing any or all of these things doesn’t make you stand out, it makes you part of the crowd.

With all of this said, it can make blogging both a very rewarding and a very challenging task.  I love to blog – I’m not particularly good at talking about my feelings or concerns or fears in person but for some reason, I’m happy to expose my insecurities and anxieties and small moments of triumphs with my wonderful world of Internet friends (and people who find me with really strange Google searches).  The sense of community and connection that can build out of something so small as putting a few words on the Internet about how life in your 20s can be terrible and awesome all at once is pretty incredible.

But it’s not always as easy as it seems.  I find myself culling not just my personal experiences but the experiences of others for blog fodder.  Whenever I’m having a conversation with a friend whose struggling with a job hunt or freaking out over a cross country move or drowning in financial uncertainty, my mind often starts drafting blog posts in my head.  Conversely, when I write a really personal, honest post about my own failings, I hesitate to put it out there too much, worried what my friends will think about me when they see me in the flesh.  Am I tapping into a vein of shared misgivings and misadventures or am I truly the one screw-up in the bunch?

I’m coming off of a couple of pretty good weeks – I’m hitting a stride at my job despite still having way to much free time, I have a great group of friends, and I’ve even had the chance to do some guest-blogging.  But all those fears and anxieties and uncertainties don’t go away and whenever someone I know confesses they share that fear, it takes everything in my power not to rush to the nearest laptop and start transcribing our conversations.  So, consider this blog post an apology of sorts – for my friends, I’m sorry if things we discuss occasionally end up on this blog and I promise to never purposefully share your stories without your permission.

For my readers, I’m sorry if sometimes I hold back on the really juicy real life examples until I can ply my friends with booze and promises of low readership into granting me permission to help illustrate that we’re just hot messes pretending to have our lives together online.

9 thoughts on “Neither An Oversharer Nor An Undersharer Be

  1. Heya, thanks so much for stopping by my blog, I always love getting new visitors 🙂
    I hear what you’re saying about blogging and your hesitation to put too much out there. I think every blogger has their own parameters and limits to what they feel comfortable sharing. Sometimes writing about personal things can be really rewarding — you get other people’s perspective on it or reassurance that you’re not the only one who thinks that way. I’m sure if your friends are your friends, they will accept you no matter what 😉

    • Thanks for stopping by as well!

      And thanks for such a great comment! This blog has been an overwhelmingly positive experience but it’s interesting to see how things that appear here come up in real life and vice versa. Still trying to figure out what my parameters are, especially as I try to enhance the quality of the posts!

  2. I can completely relate to this! I also feel more comfortable sharing things online than in real life, as strange as that seems to most people. I think in many ways, the people writing and reading blogs are of a bit high caliber than just anyone off the street, so you’re more likely to receive honest and helpful feedback. But, as open as I am on some topics, there are others that I dance around and am less comfortable with. For example, my boyfriend doesn’t understand why I don’t talk about him at all. I think it’s same trying to discern the parameter, and figure how to share enough to connect with people, but not so much that they’re scared off or that people subjects of the posts get upset. When you involve other people, and go beyond simply your own ideas, it gets tricky.

    • Agreed! Because blogs often bring together people will similar interests (and personalities), it does seem that it can be a more productive environment for a dialogue on certain topics. But I also have a great many real life friends who are so supportive and love to read the blog, so I find myself really examining the parameters of what can turn up here unexpectedly!

  3. There’s a reason my blog is anonymous. 😉 But even I worry about parameters, since about a dozen of my friends IRL read it too. I remember how nervous I was when I finally told my boyfriend about it, since I blogged about us. Luckily he was totally fine with it–and would even support everything I write even if I used my own name!

    • It’s good to know that your friends and boyfriend are supportive! My real life friends have been great – I think it’s more my own concern than pressures from others. It’s nice to be relatively anonymous but eventually word gets out 😉

  4. You, know… you MAY know, I tend to throw it all out there with a good many of my posts. Sometimes I feel a small wave of guilt because it seems that I’m taking some deeply personal information and dislplaying it almost like a juicy advertisement.
    “Hey! Come read my blog where I go on and on about things that are none of your damn business!”

    You know?

    Yeah. But it can be rewarding after you’ve built up some sort of a community; a group of people scattered all over the globe who may not think exactly like you, but they can at least often times give some great insight into some of these more personal issues.
    Anyway, notice how you’re getting great feedback here, and you just kind of opened up a little. 🙂

  5. I can see where you are coming from — I had a pseudo-Miss Hyde-full of angst rock-cynical on love persona on Blogger. It was meant to be entertaining and tongue-in-cheek writing, but there was one person who took offence because I did not share that point of view with him directly. It then becomes real and we have to respect the people closest to us because they are our support network. One of the reasons why I love poetry — you can write cryptic feelings and nobody will really know what you are referencing to. 🙂

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