The balance to Social Sharing

I had a blog post all written about our home-buying process we recently went through.  We ultimately decided against buying a new home, and I wanted to share a few things that we had learned in this blog.  It was an emotionally draining and exciting process at the same time.  (And the blog was actually pretty good!  The take-aways were appreciating what we have, looking at the numbers, and being examples to our children with our spending habits.)  Two and a half hours of writing and editing and I had shown it to my husband to ask him if it was okay to share.  His answer was “No.  That’s a lot of personal information and I feel more comfortable with you not sharing it.”

Well, shoot!  Not that I could blame him.  He’s not the only husband to roll his eyes at his wife’s social media status update.  And even though I think someone would benefit from reading the blog post, some things shouldn’t be shared.  And it’s hard with blogs because the whole idea is that people get a glimpse into our actual lives, thus finding something to relate to.  And then I realized that all was not lost – and that the issues that social sharing have on relationships and in general would make a blog!  So here are a few things I am now conscious of and wanted to share with you to also consider before your next status update:

  1. Every post you are branding yourself and shaping people’s opinions of you.  What are you saying?  And you might think that having a brand isn’t important, but it is.  What is the image of yourself that you are communicating?  A mad politician?  A complaining victim?  An annoying sales person?  A positive influence?  I would suggest scrolling through your news feed and look at your history.  Right or wrong everything you post is judged.  (Just like some of you are judging this right now!)  And although I’ve met a few people in person who were down-right weird and online act like a completely different person, it’s just easier to brand yourself as you are in actuality.
  2. Consider the privacy of your family when you post.  What would they want out there?  My husband and I aren’t big on sharing intimate details of our marriage.  We don’t profess our love to the world or do a lot of PDA pics (or complain about each other either – that is seriously annoying).  If that’s your thing, that’s fine, but just think about them and what they prefer first.  When your children grow up will they like the fact that people can find random pictures of them? I often wonder what effect taking pictures of them all day will have on their psyche when they grow up.  We think children have issues now?!  Just wait until our kids realize they aren’t special for wiping their rear end that we took a picture of and posted for the world to see!  Carl has asked me to delete a few posts I just didn’t think about before I posted.  A few “likes” aren’t worth upsetting your family for.
  3. We don’t need to share everything.  My kids are cute.  Like, really cute.  No, I’m not biased, my husband and I just make amazing looking kids.  And I’ll snap a picture of them and think, “Ah!  Everyone will love this as much as I do!  They need to see this to make their day complete!”  It’s really okay to save some of the intimate moments just for our families and close friends.   And its hard not to put every funny thought or situation online.  I’m an open book and really don’t care who sees what for the most part.  But my family doesn’t always feel the same way. And that’s the lesson I learned by attempting my last blog post.

In the end it really matters what works for your family and how you are branding yourself online.  What we write is a reflection of who we are.  It’s also a reflection of our relationships with those we are closest to.  And they need to be considered when making pictures and moments of them public. Here’s to hoping my husband isn’t annoyed with me sharing my thoughts!

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