Too much information? Do we share too much of our lives online?
I know how ironic does that sound from a blogger! But it’s something that I’ve always had a issue with over the years, I’ve never had Facebook yes you read this right I have never not even for a minute or a day had Facebook. It was a conscious decision to not join, I had bebo (remember that 🙂 ) when I was at secondary school but when people started to switch to Facebook I decided no, I’m not putting my life on show anymore. See my life was pretty much on display for the world to see on my bebo page. It had become filled with pictures of me and my friends “posing” (cringe) on nights out or me with my then bf now hubby on trips out and about and holidays. Everyone was free to have a good old nose through them, something I regret now, not because of any content of the pictures, they were all 100% above board, you could show them to my gran and I wouldn’t have a red face I promise! But because I feel I shared too much, why should for example “Ginny ann” from the year above me who had never spoken to me in my life be able to see my holiday snaps? Or “jolly Jake” from down the road nosy through my girls night out pictures? At the time I think I felt I was “fitting in” by uploading my life online, showing I had just as exciting or interesting life as everyone else.
However I feel it started to have a real negative upon me. I became obsessed with seeing what so and so was doing or wearing or how thin and pretty I perceived them to look compared to me and often felt terrible about myself afterwards. I had been bullied at primary school and then quite severely in secondary school until 5thyear (16yrs) and my self confidence had nose dived big time, I then transferred school to an all girls grammar which was a great school but being surrounded by 100’s of girls day in day out and at least in my mind 50% of them being skinnier and far prettier than I’d ever be, had a big impact on my self esteem. I remember going to the formal (social/prom) and feeling fat compared to the other girls and looking at pictures online afterwards and thinking I looked terrible. Looking back at pictures from that time now I can see I looked great if I do say so myself I was a healthy size 10 ( I went to the gym and aerobics at least 3 times a week probably the best shape I’ve been in).
It was not long after this formal that me and social media parted ways (until recently). At our end of year assembly a video was played and in it were snap shots of all 100 or so girls in the year, I was gobsmacked to see myself in a number of snaps on a large screen for the assembly to see posing on nights out. The pictures of me had all been taken off my Bebo page and added to this video without me even being aware of it. I know it was only a silly school end of year video but it snapped me back to reality that once my photo was online I didn’t know where it would end up or who would see it. I deleted bebo that night and never joined Facebook. And it has been liberating, really it has. I feel content that my life isn’t out there being scrutinised by the masses. I also feel more content within myself that I am not doing the same to other people’s photo’s either.
It has been a real eye opener for me, around the key events in my life over the recent years such as our engagement & wedding and then the birth of our little girl 7months ago the amount of people who you least expect who try to find you online. I have met countless random individuals who I vaguely know or have not seen since school etc over the last couple years who I have bumped into out and about and have said I heard you got “engaged” or “married” or”had a baby” and the next line is I searched for your pictures on facebook but I couldn’t find you?! They are then stunned when Ive said I don’t have facebook and I don’t want it.
A HAPPY MEDIUM?
Now I know what you are thinking, you are thinking you have twitter and a blog for goodness sake! Yes, I do. I admit that I am now a 100% a twitter convert, having joined in Jan this year. I am in no way anti-social media, in fact twitter and blogging has given me such a boost since I joined as I now feel part of a wonderful mostly supportive network of pbloggers and lovely artsy craftsy people who are on hand to give advice, support, chit chat or just a giggle 🙂 but I have ground rules in relation to what I feel comfortable sharing on these platforms.
Hubby and I decided whilst I was pregnant that we didn’t want our little one plastered all over Facebook or likewise. As you may have noticed I don’t call my little one by her name online just her nickname “babi bear” or “A”, I know a lot of parent bloggers do similar. Also very few photos of her will be online as when I decided to start blogging I decided I didn’t feel it was right for us to put her pictures out there all the time. (The odd post may have a picture of her but they will be few and fair between). Don’t get me wrong I think the mummy/daddy bloggers out there who include pictures of their kids on their blogs are great, they are blogging and recording their kids lives the way they want and thats super. Each to their own, I think everyone should be allowed to express themselves 100% how they wish. But for us, for now we want to keep “A’s” online exposure to a minimum.
I feel I can be part of the “social media” scene and blog about our lovely little life & tweet till my hearts content whilst still maintaining the privacy we want currently. Im attempting to create a happy medium…. for now at least 🙂
Pop over and visit me at my new blog http://www.elliebearbabi.co.uk/