A question for the bloggers – how do you react when someone you know in real life tells you they read your blog? Most of the time, it sends me for a very split second into a mini state of shock. It’s just a little reminder than – oh yeah – this thing is public. I’ve had people recount to me what my day-to-day looks like and how much sleep I get, I’ve even had people recount to me what my favourite types of sausages are, because I’ve written it here at some point. Don’t get me wrong – I absolutely don’t mind it – I’m an open book on this blog. Around a year and a bit ago I decided to set a goal and direction for my blog to help me better anchor my posts – and that goal was that I wanted my blog to help other girls (& guys) navigate through life’s many twists & turns by sharing my own experiences, giving advice and really, just opening up my life and what I get up to a bit more. Although it’s not always at the forefront of my mind, before I hit publish I will always take into account the fact that people I do see in my day to day could be reading, and make adjustments if I need to and occasionally, just scrap entire posts completely. There’s a balance to be met – being open and vulnerable allows your readers to connect with you and in some cases makes way for your blog to serve a purpose (depending on what purpose you want your blog to serve), but at the same time if you go overboard you could end up hurting people in your life, sharing details that actually do not need to be known and in the rare case, going so overboard that you end up being booted from your job (it happens).
This idea came into my head as I was recently asked about it: so there’s this supposedly fine line between sharing too much and at the same time making yourself totally unrelateable… but where do you draw this line and how do you know how much sharing is just too much? Honestly, it’s important to think about these things because as much as we hear it, people often forget that we each form our own footprint across our social media profiles, and if you’re not careful – the wrong information can find its place on the web… permanently.
I feel like, at least for now, I’ve struck a point where I have things finely balanced. I’m able to open up to you guys, and make myself relateable, whilst still managing not to step on any toes and share too much personal information that I definitely don’t want people I see on a day to day basis knowing. I follow a few rules of thumb…
I make myself quite vulnerable on this blog as sometimes the posts I write require this. For example, I wrote once about why I disliked secondary school and went into the cliques, peer pressure and immaturity that made me stick two virtual fingers up to school and all the people I didn’t like once I left (there were of course some fab people and overall, I think it was a pretty great secondary school. But, you know, school is… well… ). I’ve even written about how struggling with confidence plagued myself life way into my teens. More recently, I wrote about the pressures of social media and how I i) once found myself stuck in this web and ii) eventually clawed my way out of it. Talking to someone I know on a day to day basis about how I struggled with confidence so much I would go to bed praying I was pretty when I was just entering my teens definitely won’t make for the easiest and most comfortable conversation. But – if it were to come up in conversation – i wouldn’t totally mind. I would write about anything I couldn’t open my mouth up and speak about again afterwards – which means I have to keep some cards held close to my chest occasionally.
To be fair, I live a fairly drama free life. However – that doesn’t mean I haven’t had my own fair few friendship dramas, “relationship” dramas and the lot that could possibly most definitely make for some very juicy posts. I’ve definitely referenced to a few of these dramas and brushed over/summarised them in posts before in order to get my points across, because of course these events have impacted my life and well – this is a blog about my life isn’t it! However, I am yet to write full-on exposés and I don’t see myself ever doing so. Doing so is definitely trodding down a path of trouble and one of no return. In most cases, it’s unproductive and reignites previous troubles that could have otherwise been put to rest, it has the power to get too many tongues wagging and rumours spreading. That is why I, personally, stray from this. I do however know some bloggers that give so little of a sh*t that they will dig right into any dramas and not care at all – and that’s fine too if that release is what you need. Again, I just refer to #1 – if you’re comfortable with it, then go for it. But if you’re not – then it’s something that’s easy to withhold in the name of peace.
There are a few topics I just would never post about. For example, if I was to have a bad day at work (it happens to all of us), you would catch me coming up here on my blog and writing about why – it’s not a good look. I also wouldn’t write up a post on perhaps personal topics that I wouldn’t feel comfortable having – for example – my (traditional, African) family read, or even my colleagues read. Some times things are better left unsaid to keep everyone at peace; and over time, as life changes, you grow up etc etc, these “no-go” topics will natural evolve as well. It all depends on what you feel comfortable doing at that certain time.
The above all said – once you find that balance, and if you decide blogging/social is what you want to do (you definitely lose some privacy doing so), there are definitely some great things that can come out of it. For me, the best thing is when I hear from people saying my posts have helped them through dark times, or have motivated them to do X, Y, Z. If I’m honest, it just warms my heart so much and I find it absolutely mad that my posts can even have an impact on people like that. It’s so easy to get caught up in numbers and, given that I’m posting photos of myself everyday, things can also start to seem a little bit vain/narcissistic. However – when I get messaged like that it’s always a gentle reminder of why I do what I do and pushes me to keep going and to continue blessing you all with the nonsense that comes out of my mind!
I think you have to be careful and not reveal your entire life online. I love how you balance between posting what is necessary, and staying clear of saying maybe you had a bad day at school or work. I think not broadcasting drama to the globe online is a smart move. I agree, I don’t have drama in my life either, but I do have those days where you just feel a burn out of everyday life. It just isn’t good to tell the world 🙂 I think we as people are our biggest critics. And it’s best to be positive. I don’t care much for politics, but that is off limits on my site and religion. Because those topics seem to make people crazy. And I always stick with topics that are interesting and positive. Thanks for sharing, these are great tips and I love your style here. http://www.bauchlefashion.com
Very interesting post, its good to keep some things to ourselves, I to often forget real people read my blog 🙂
Haha – it’s always a surprise when they say that they do!
Thank you for sharing this, I think this is a topic that is so important. As a mental health blogger it is easy to want to share everything so that all your readers do not feel alone in their struggles but I have definitely had to learn boundaries.
Thank you! Definitely – I share a lot, but I would share even more if it wasn’t for having to respect others’ boundaries (and if it wasn’t for having to face awkward questions from others in the future!)
Great post! I love the idea that you should only post what you’d be comfortable talking about in person. I find that sometimes I overshare (especially on Twitter) but I try to keep my blog not too personal