“I always want more,” my friend Ann told me, about my blog posts. I wanted to ask, “what more? more what?” but I never got around to it. The truth is, I like to write and I like to share but I don’t like to share a lot or share everything. My life is so entwined with the lives of others’ and I feel… weird about writing about details that involve not just me, but others, too. It feels like an invasion of privacy and also, I am pathologically afraid of judgment.
I want to put myself out there but I fear judgment, a lack of understanding. I have surprisingly thin skin. You’d think I wouldn’t, that being teased mercilessly or having not a lot of friends growing up would’ve given me thicker skin. But it’s done the opposite. When I find acceptance, I want to keep it that way. I am loathe to do anything that would take that away. Sometimes, I wonder if I should give people more credit, if I should give myself more credit.
I really admire people that are able to put their whole selves out there, writers that are not afraid to tell their story. I wonder how they do it. I wonder if they ask permission first from everyone in their lives, or if everyone just knows that being friends or being related to a writer makes you fair game. And yes, I’m not afraid to call myself a writer. It’s one of the few things that I can do well, but it’s also something I could better if I could bring myself to share more.
And the thing is, I could just journal all this privately, and wouldn’t have to worry about what people think or make anyone mad or feel bad. I won’t lie, though. I like to have an audience. What writer doesn’t? I like the opportunity for engagement, I like seeing my words out there, even if they lack substance sometimes.
I’ve thought a lot about not blogging at all, just shutting the whole thing down, getting off Twitter and Pinterest and whatever other social media outlet I waste time with. In the beginning, social media sites like Flickr and Twitter were relatively small communities and it was easy to connect with people (heck, that’s how I met Henry!) But now, the communities are large and have become little more than marketing tools for people with ad-supported blogs or other businesses. Sure, I follow a lot of interesting people on Twitter but I have nothing of myself to contribute and I wonder if I wouldn’t get the same information if I just read the news everyday. I don’t even use Pinterest for social networking. I just think it’s a neat way to clip ideas from all over the internet and have them all in one place, and accessible from wherever I am.
That said, I’m probably not going anywhere. I guess I don’t mind being an observer and I like to keep tabs with what’s going on out there. But it’s in here that I’m more concerned with. I think there’s a fine line between sharing and oversharing, and I’m confident that I know where that line is. I just need to summon the courage to toe that line.

4 thoughts on “Sharing.”

  1. Interesting and insightful . I often wonder what it would be like to just stop. Stop constantly checking fackbook and my email. Just put down the electronics! Its almost like an addiction that I would love to free myself of…but then I get to see pictures of my kids and my grandkids and know what they are doing and thinking, and it becomes almost impossible..nevertheless, i think it would be fun to try it at least for a while…like an experiment..yeah, thats it! an experiment…here goes…see you on xmas, Nan!

  2. For me, I tend to share a lot about what is going on because I want my readers to be able to glean the courage to share their truths too. It is messy sometimes, but your truths are still yours no matter with whom you are intertwined. Your story is yours. So write it.

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