The other day, my boyfriend asked what my Twitter handle was. (If you’re interested, it’s here. Shameless social plugging? Tick.) I didn’t want to give it up, which is stupid; with thousands of people able to see my inane ramblings and thoughts online, why should one extra person – who is probably closer to me than most – make a difference?
I didn’t want to give up my Twitter handle for the fear: for fear of all my weirdness, worries, ironies and quips that I send into the Twittersphere being put on display for him to read. I’ve been blogging for about two years now, and whilst I do love it, it does leave me feeling somewhat exposed, and fairly vulnerable. Where is the line drawn between sharing and oversharing; what’s to be laid bare, and what’s to be hidden away?
My mother once told me when I was younger that mud sticks. Not literal mud (duh), but bad reputations and negative connotations; that it’s hard to shake those off once you’ve been tarnished. This has meant I’ve always tried to be cautious in what I publish online here – I try not to swear too much, and keep my subject matters fairly light and frothy, to avoid any stigma or consequence. I’ve only ever written one post which I consider to be vaguely controversial, and even that was fairly vanilla…
There are blogs that write about things that I would never dare to touch upon, like sex and masturbation and mental illness – things that I could barely bring myself to discuss with my peers, let alone publish on the internet. Today I found myself blanching at a post about BDSM – which was subsequently followed by a post on the perfect summertime lipgloss – until I realised that it was actually pretty well written and thought-provoking, even thought the content was a bit out there. Initially what I thought to be a bit TMI had turned into something quite poignant; what I would judge immediately as over-sharing was actually rather interesting.
If there’s one thing blogging has taught me: it’s that there’s a difference between oversharing and informing, and making a point and gratuitous nonsense. It’s also taught me that nothing should get published you’d be ashamed for someone to read; it’s taught me that you may delete a post, but the words and images can float about on the internet forever, so what you say should be thought-out and considered.
Answering my earlier questions previously: share what you like. Write what you like. Tell me about you sex lives and what you find difficult in life, and what makes you happy and what makes you sad. There is such a thing as oversharing, but there’s also such a thing as being confident with your words and opinions and beliefs, and writing beautifully to make your readers laugh and cry and empathize. Those are the best kinds of posts to read – and I can’t wait to find some more.