Am I Sharing Enough 'Me' Online?
My blog is very typically lifestyle, I don't have a niche, I write about blogging one minute to bullet journaling the next to Donald Trump the following day. But I do pride myself on the fact that whilst I write about anything and everything, everything is me. Everything is my opinion in my tone and everything is written in the same way.
I share my opinions, I own what I say, I write how I speak and I like to think my personality runs through my blog the same way as it does on social media. I'm not a different person on both platforms and that's why I've been told people like to read what I write; because it's personable.
My favourite blogs are the ones with a wide variety of content, who write like they speak, aren't too formal, swear a lot and fill their post full of slang; the ones where reading their catch up posts is like having a chat with a friend and I think that's why my blog is written the way it is. I write like I've got word vomit and like I'm having a chin wag with an old pal because the very first blogs I read (we're talking the likes of Hannah Gale, Robowecop etc here) were written that way and that's what I loved about them.
So here comes my confusion; if you write a lifestyle blog, if 100% of your content is your own life, your own experiences and your own opinions - how much sharing do you do?
I write about my life every day I write this blog. Some days are bujo days, some days are blogging tips days, some days are opinion days...they're all written from something I know about or have done or achieved or thought up. And then some days I write about what I've been up to, what's going on in my life. I give out personal details about my daily life, my routine because I write a blog about me and I give no second thought about doing so.
Naturally we're all a little bit more online savvy now than we were in the days of MSN and now we KNOW to cover our addresses when we do brand unboxing, we KNOW to talk loosely about where we live not name our road, we KNOW how much of that information to keep back because we know what'll come round to bite us if we don't.
But I'm talking about the other stuff, the stuff going on at home, the stuff we share with our friends, the crap stuff and the personal stuff we might not fancy sharing online.
I've made my thoughts clear on 'big' bloggers, vloggers and youtube stars clear, they're just not my thing but I can appreciate when you build a career on being a personable young woman like Zoella, where your whole image came from the foundations of the girl next door type that everyone felt they can be friends with, sharing personal information is like your niche. People feel they have ownership of you, like they know the ins and outs of your life because that's how you started and that's why they followed you in the first place. Now imagine when it comes to the stuff you DON'T want to share yet you're as famous as Zoella? That kind of personal lifestyle vibe just doesn't cut it because people want to know all the details.
And that's where I'm kinda at a crossroads, because I love blogs where they share info on their lives, I'm nosey, I like to know what's going on in someone's relationship or at home because I feel like we have a connection, because I feel like we're pals because I read their words on their blog and I see photos of their living room or their pets.
And that's appaz why people like me, because I write like a friend, like someone you could hopefully get along with IRL and I just have a chat or a rant on the old blog.
So am I a fraud for NOT sharing everything?
Am I adding to the 'highlights reel' concept of social media because I don't share all the gritty bits of my everyday life?
I have long been an advocate for 'you do you boo' on blogs and social media and have often spoken out about shaming and Twitter spats and why can't we all just let everyone do what they want but I'm a bit of a hypocrite over some of that myself. The one thing I CANNOT stand on social media is where someone says something along the lines of 'am going through hell, don't want to discuss it but that's why I'm not myself for the next few days'. That kind of tweet automatically generates a barrage of tweets back from people sending their support, letting them know they can talk to them and also generates a whole load of interest over what's gone so wrong in their lives.
Like let's not pretend we aren't all nosey. No of course you don't want to hear that someone is feeling really shit but hell yes you want to know what caused it because we are inherently interested in gossip. I really try not to roll my eyes every time I see a tweet like the above because I know that person is going through something crap and they need a little love and support and who the fuck am I to say that shouldn't come from a tribe of girls on Twitter? We all have flaws, my irritation over those tweets is one.
But I'm sure you can see where I'm coming from and it kinda started this thread of thought for me. I'd never share a tweet like that because as far as I'm concerned, the shit parts of my life are better kept off the internet. I'll FB my friends or rant to my boyfriend but I'll never tweet about it. Sure I'll have the odd moan or the occasional 'had one of them days' Instagram captions but I'll never share the details.
And I think - but does that mean I'm part of the problem of people feeling like everyones lives are so much better than theirs? By not sharing the crap am I suggesting my life is in some way perfect? Like those not having such a great time can't relate to me?
Hells bells my life has been pretty bloody steady for the first 21 years of my life but the last few years have tested me in a way I didn't ever think I could deal with but I just don't want to share that online.
I think often, and is definitely the case for me, the shit in your life doesn't always just include you and I don't think it's fair to discuss details that include family or friends or people you know. Once you've written something down and hit publish, sure you can delete it but it's out there on the internet somewhere, someone will have read it before you took it down and you can't take that back.
I can also see why people DO write posts about the less positive times in their lives, it's a form of therapy for a lot, I know I could rant and rave and write 5000 words on how I feel just to get it out of my system and I know that'd be therapeutic for me but it's just not something I'll ever be comfortable sharing on a public platform.
So am I sharing enough of me online if I'm not sharing it all?
Because the majority of the time I am genuinely fine, sure there'll always be drama and there'll always be good times and bad times and abhorrently shit times, as they say 'that's life'.
I don't think I am doing my readers a disservice because I don't share it all because I am doing the people IRL a service by not airing dirty laundry. And if my Whatsapp pals were to message and be like hun what's your latest post about I'd tell them because it's friends, whether they be online or IRL or a happy mixture of both like the picnic gals, real friends that I rant to and share with. It doesn't for a second mean I don't value the people who read my blog, it's just a happy balance that works for me.
I realise with this post I'm doing exactly what I say I don't like in tweets, I'm like 'guys there's like some stuff going on but I'm not going to share it with you but here's a post cos #content' but really genuinely, it's fine, I'm fine. I, like everyone else have some stuff going on in the background that sometimes piles on top of me and makes me feel shit and I think that's what's important to remember. EVERYONE has something going on or has had something in the past or is having a tough ride from time to time, it just doesn't mean you'll see evidence of it.
I DO think you can be a lifestyle blogger and share information about yourself without giving it all. At the end of the day what you publish on your blog is what content YOU want to. As little or as much information as you like.