Pieces of Me

How much do you share online?

Over the last few weeks, I have found myself in a mental debate over what I should or should not share over social media. Not a new debate, nor one I plan to solve today. But it is something I have given little thought to before, let alone debate over.

When I first started to blog, and by default started a public profile online, I made the decision to keep the names of my boys private. Now while I had this rule about my boys I never made any rules for myself. I always thought I would go with the flow and follow my gut. Except lately I have been hesitating much more than I have been sharing. Hovering over the share button on Instagram, hesitating on a Facebook update and if I’m not sharing a link, it seems I’m never on Twitter these days.

How much do you share online?

I don’t think this is something unique to those of us who have a public profile online. I think this is something we all go through. For public or not, we all have a presence online through our social media.

A friend of mine has the most gorgeous newborn baby boy. She is on Facebook all the time, but there is no mention of this new addition to her family, no announcement, no photos. If you looked at her profile, you would not know that she is a new mummy at all. Another friend of mine is only weeks away from having a baby. But you wouldn’t know this from her social media. A close friend of mine lives in Instagram but her Facebook feed is a ghost town.

It seems we all face the decision of what we should or should not share over social media.

How much do you share online?

Part of me wonders if it is because there is this unspoken rule that if it is not picture perfect then no one wants to see it. Maybe we feel that our untidy kitchens, bad hair days, mismatched clothing and unswept floors should be kept away from the public eye. Some have suggested that this is exactly what people want to see. We have been brainwashed with picture perfect and want reality instead.

I don’t think this is the case for me. I don’t think my hesitation comes from seeking the picture perfect or the right Instagram filter. I’m not sure where my hesitation is coming from.

I do know that once my public online profile gained even a small amount of momentum, my personal profiles went into lock down. Gosh it seems silly. But I culled Facebook friends, locked down settings and there is a list of pending friend requests that I can’t even bring myself to look at. Only the other day a conversation with my mum made me realise how noticeable it is to others.

“We haven’t seen pictures of your boys in ages,” she said to me over coffee.
“You see the boys almost every day, what are you talking about?”
“Our family overseas don’t, you haven’t posted any photos in ages.”

How much do you share online?

The penny dropped. No, I had not posted any photos of my beautiful boys in ages. Wasn’t that the whole point of social media anyway, to keep us connected, with the ones we love, especially those who live so far away? I posted five photos. That was almost a month ago and I haven’t deleted them yet.

Maybe part of me feels like if I cannot tell the whole story, a story with all the answers, I need to keep my silence. Maybe another part of me feels vulnerable to my reality and that sharing it only makes it even more real. I don’t know. I guess today is the first exercise in sharing a story without all the answers.

What do you share online? Are there a set of rules that you follow?
Do you prefer to see reality or picture perfect?


Disclosure: Hubby took these photos on a cold Sunday in Melbourne, yes the ugg boots are old and have holes in them xx

  • LydiaCLee

    I don’t edit to keep it perfect (I’m too much of a whinger for that) but I do edit for privacy – in the sense of you don’t know who is going to take the photo (or news) and what they will use it for. Anyone can lift photos off your fb page, whether they are your friends or not (I did it with a spider photo (nothing untoward) off a complete stranger who my friend commented on). I can often see full access into non-friends pages when the privacy settings change for a bazillion times. For me, it’s that caution – yet I think most people on FB would feel they are keeping in touch, because we chat about movies, my major car drama at present, and other topics for conversation. Rather than press like, we actually engage…

  • Emma Fahy Davis

    I’m an oversharer since way back, I do often think about whether I should set more boundaries around social media, but my girls are a huge part of my persona and without that, I don’t really have much to share! I am mindful of their privacy tho, especially Maya who is 11 and old enough to tell me what she does and doesn’t want posted online.

  • Cate Brickell

    I have been blogging so long that sharing my kids was the reason I started, there’s no going back from that. But they have a different surname, so I’m building their footprint as it relates to me, they still have space to do their own thing.

  • Jody at Six Little Hearts

    Great post Josefa. My kids feature in my blog but as they get older, I am more careful about what images and events I am sharing. It seems ok when they are babies and it becomes more of an issue I think, as they grow. I try to crop my images these days so that I am not revealing too much of anyone or anything – much the way you have presented your pictures in this post.

  • I’m careful online. I feel silly saying that, as I name my children, but there is a LONG list of stories and topics I will not cover on the blog. My facebook feed is a little more personal, but there will never be naked kiddy photos, no talk of toilet training and the like, and as they get older, nothing they don’t want shared. And I never share photos with other people’s children in them unless I’ve asked if it’s okay first.

    • Should say that’s my personal facebook page. The blog one is far less personal than that.

  • I tend to write just about me – and post updates about things that directly relate to me… very rarely post anything about anyone else…

  • I’m reasonably careful about what I post but I love sharing pics of the kids, primarily on my personal fb page though- which has some tight privacy settings!

  • Yes…I know what you mean. I occasionally put photos of the girls up on my private profile, and sometimes discreet ones of them on my more public profile. I am worried about where those images end up, because you never know. I have one instagram follower who only ever likes the photos of me or photos which have my girls in it, and I am sure it’s perfectly innocent, but it unsettles me. I think when FB first came out it was exciting and many of us used it a lot to share with friends and families, but I too have noticed that friends with newborns have not given their babies a social media identity. I don’t know…the guidelines are kind of up to the person, and will possibly change from time to time.x

  • I will share anything and everything about me, but I don’t share about the inner workings of my family. Their actions might be incidental to a story (this morning I posted a picture of a new roll of toilet paper daintily perched on top of the holder because nobody could be bothered to load it properly), but never how I suppose they are feeling or thinking.
    I too have a list of pending friend requests because of blogging but if I haven’t had a conversation with someone, I am not willing to let them see loads of details about my kids. I share a lot less on my personal FB page now but that’s just because I’m all social media’d out at the end of the day. But I still like to share pics of my kids and their achievements.
    Interested to see if you get to the bottom of your hesitation, Josefa – hope you do. xx

  • I’m not interested in picture perfect at all, from myself or others. It just doesn’t resonate with me. On my blog I only share what I’m willing to, but my personal Facebook privacy settings are on lockdown! There’s no right answer really is there!

  • I think it’s different for everyone and also changes constantly. For me I won’t share personal information about my family on my blog. Perhaps a mention of Miss 6 here or Miss 8 there but never names. Same for my FB page and Twitter. On my private Facebook profile I do post pictures and tid bits about my kids but not too often, and they are far from picture perfect when I do. I also regularly check my FB profile settings to make sure they are strictly private. And I think some things need to stay within the confines of our home, the good moments, the fun moments just to soak up as memories. They are for us, not for the world. x

  • This is such a hard debate. Sometimes I think I share too much. But then there’s a lot I don’t say. A lot that doesn’t need to be said.
    SM has changed us do much. A FB friend posted today about her brand new baby, but I had no idea she was pregnant! It was the equivalent of running into a friend you haven’t seen for ages on the street, and yet I was a little flummoxed. Silly really. She doesn’t need to tell everyone everything, and neither do any of us.
    Go with what’s comfortable for you. Xx

  • The Plumbette

    I share my children’s names and photos of them but I have thought whether I share too much. I do think about what I share as to not embarrass them when they are older. I’m not sure what the right answer is but I like Jess approach to go with what feels comfortable.

  • I very rarely share my daughters name on my blog or social media, but I do share photos of her. I try to only share photos of her that aren’t embarrassing and wont come back to haunt her later in life. I hardly post on my personal fb now either, but post on my blog fb page all the time.

  • TeganMC

    I have different rules for different social media channels, but that is more about the people who are on them, rather than privacy. Like I don’t talk about issues I might be having with Paul, even when I need a good vent on FB because I am friends with his daughters and they don’t need to see it. I also don’t share a lot of in the moment mental health stuff because I also don’t need 500 messages from family thinking that I have moved back to square one in my recovery. I am careful about what I share on my blog about my past because I know that my family do read it, and we have very different views of my teen years.

  • I like a mixture of reality and beautiful. I’m very slack with my personal FB now but I do put images on blog of my children/family. I don’t go over the top but I do share a bit because they make up who I am and why I do what I do.

  • I try not to share faces of my girls, although I do admit on Instagram I tend to share a bit more, not so much on FB or the blog. I do have an Instagram plug in on the blog so obviously they show up sometimes. I always ask the girls first though if I can post a particular picture of them, after all it is their face…..

  • Renee at Mummy, Wife, Me

    As you know, I don’t share the names of my girls on the blog and try not to show their faces. A number of my family have mentioned my girls’ names on my blog FB page though, so the whole protecting their identity thing is not working too well for me right now. My personal FB on the other hand is filled with photos of the girls. I am just so in love with and proud of them, that I can’t help but share it with my loved ones. In saying that my number of FB friends is getting out of control and I wouldn’t mind doing another cull. I also have a loopy friend from London – in her 80s – who shares pictures of my girls with her friends without asking me. I have worked out a way to hide this from her friends when she does this though. I am constantly aware of my daughter’s social media footprint though and would never post anything to embarrass them. Re: pictures – I prefer reality 🙂 Love the ugg boots x

  • I posted just about everything at the beginning as my blog was started to keep in contact with family back home but then as I gained more followers, I gave my boys code names, rather than sharing their real names. I do still share photos but I do argue back and forth with myself about that. It’s difficult isn’t it.
    On my personal Facebook, I share LOADS of pictures and videos.
    I like to share the imperfect as well though, messy house, messy kids, messy me. It’s real life. My life isn’t perfect, the pictures shouldn’t be either. X

  • It has taken me awhile with photos of myself and my daughters. My daughters share photos of themselves online all the time so I do ot post too much about them at all. I always ask their thoughts first before posting pics of them online. V x

  • TwitchyCorner

    Funny, I didn’t notice the ugg boots, just your lovely self in a ponytail and lively printed leggings 🙂

    I stopped posting pictures of my kids’ faces on Facebook long ago. Only yesterday morning in the car my Mr14 said to me: “You shouldn’t post pictures of yourself on facebook from all angles. They have an app now designed to recognise you in 3D for tagging.” Erm, wow. I don’t even know if this is accurate but it sure gave me pause for thought. This data-collecting Orwellian path we’re on just churns me up. Where is it leading?

    As you well know, our surname is not out there online. While this consideration of mine from the outset is one I’m still happy with, my only regret is that if I started pitching stories to publications there will be a massive disconnect with my existing online social media profile.

  • Firstly, I love the ugg boots! It’s a really tough call. I don’t use my boys names on the blog or social media. On my personal page, I do share quite a few photos (maybe one a week?) purely as all of our family and many of our friends live interstate. I am conscious of what stories I share about my family, and will always ask my husband to read any posts or articles to make sure he is comfortable with what I’m sharing as well.

  • Hugzilla

    I’m a bit paranoid about these things, hence the pseudonym! I know that the only way to stay fully anonymous is to take yourself off the grid totally, but I try to cover my tracks a bit.

  • Kathy www.yinyangmother.com

    I share less on my own FB profile since having a page. On my page I always use pseudonyms for my kids, but I think there are fair few people who still know their names. Now that our daughter is 11 I’m being much more careful what I post and asking her permission if I’m at all unsure.

  • One thing I don’t do is share information about my stepdaughter or my husband without their permission. Everything else follows my gut. Sometimes I get it wrong. I’m sure we all do.

  • I think I am a terrible over sharer. I am sure most people on my FB feed have me hidden and are sick of me posting ALL THE TIME! I have never really worried about “over sharing” but as my son grows older I do find I am sharing less of him. I share more on FB because we have overseas family and friends and I feel a stupid sense of security (even though I know better!). There have been times I’ve wanted to delete ALL my social media accounts, but I can’t bring myself to do it.

  • I reckon we’re all just a bit over it, tbh. The whole sharing / not sharing / over-sharing thing… doesn’t matter too much in the end. x

  • Debbie Roberts

    Love the trousers and the Ugg boots! Knowing what to share is tricky. When I started my blog I was determined to keep my location to myself, but my location added interest and validation to my posts…The same with my family, although if my children were small I may have kept them out of it, but they are old enough to stay safe.

    I’ve never been into social networking, which I am cursing now I am blogging, but better late than never!

    And I much prefer to see ‘real ‘pictures that depict real lives and people. i don’t live in a perfect world and like top see that others don’t either.

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