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.
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.
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.”
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