“How can you share everything from your life to The Internet?”
This is a question I’ve been getting asked since 2003. I give the exact same answer I gave before blog ads existed, conferences were popular or marketing pitches went out en mass: “I don’t.”
There is a vast difference between sharing all your personal information and sharing fun, personal stories. Believe it or not, most bloggers still filter their content. As personal as the stories I have shared throughout my time online, there are many details of my life nobody knows except those involved.
It’s a false sense of closeness you’ll get from reading someone’s blog. You might feel that you understand them entirely, could be best friends, have the EXACT SAME thoughts. The wonderful truth is that you might have or be all those things, but you can only find that out by experiencing a true friendship. In the past few weeks I’ve reached out to many of the wonderful women I’ve met online. They have shared snippets of their lives and I know them well enough to understand the bigger picture that lies underneath. The amazing fact is that if you ask, offline, off record, in earnest, you can share things so much more intimate than what The Internet can ever know. “I had no idea,” a friend might breathe over IM. “I didn’t realize,” you might whisper when you read an email in return.
Many of us blog because we love to write and express ourselves best in this medium. Many of us find it therapeutic to work out the inner ideals we’re unsure of here on this screen where others can help guide or encourage the enlightenment. This form of communication, while cathartic, is still limiting.
So it is that The Internet may not know everything. There are times when a piece of paper and a pen still remain the most valuable psychotherapist. There are no indexes, no “way back machine”, no SEO meta tags. Pure thought, unfiltered, raw; one day I may even share those stories with someone as well. Perhaps.
I love that you are writing this. I’ve been thinking about ownership a lot lately, given that there are people who purport to have more claim on something, or someone, than is possible. No one can be owned or fully known, we can choose to give as much or as little as we want. And yes, even when they think they have it all, there is oh so much more.
Hoping your more is in a gentle light.
By amandamagee on 2011 09 19
There is a marvel in the universe and it is known as “editing”. It saves us from being dull, redundant, or over-exposed. Editing is a thickly padded bra in the freezer aisle; we all know it’s chilly, but no one needs to see the “high beams”.
By CitricSugar on 2011 09 19
I like you long time. You write good.
By Liz Thompson on 2011 09 25
This is a great post and so true! I found you through Sarah at For The Love Of Naps and will be reading more for sure. I totally agree too; I filter a lot of what I share which kind of makes sense. I’m always taken aback when someone shares more than I would on their blog but then I have to remember it’s their blog - not mine!
Anyways, good insights and a good reminder!
By CanadianMama on 2011 09 26
I have posts that *I* can never go back and read, much less hit publish on.
By Dawn on 2011 09 26
Love…and it’s hard to believe it’s already 2011. Oy! I started reading you in late 2005.
I know I tend to be very careful about what I post now, especially with my girls getting older. I love the medium of blogging and social media and the interaction but I am not a spill it all out there type blogger. And that is OK, you know? That’s just not for me, as much as I may admire it in other writers.
p.s. you know you get to the point where your 9-year-old tells you she wants to be a blogger (food blogger) and you think OH COOL and also OH SHIT!
By Jamie on 2011 09 29