I am a babbler, upon meeting someone I tend to talk, hell I talk a lot! It’s one of the reasons I have enjoyed blogging so much, my own space to be like the Energizer Bunny…I can go on and on. Yet always in the back of my mind while typing away and sharing my life with friends and strangers, a small part of me has always remembered this shit is public, be mindful. So over the years while I have openly shared my financial woes, my marital woes and hell my pre-menopausal woes, a part of me has always felt there should be an invisible line in the sand. I love y’all but really do you need to know everything about me?
I admit initially there were times I wanted to disregard that little voice since sometimes I do need and want to know, am I the only one going through this shit? One of the interesting things that came out of opening up was that I heard from many of you via email and private messages on the Twitter and Facebook that I am not the only one struggling financially. Turns out a lot of folks who look fine on the outside are facing the big BK choice or even worse foreclosure. We smile, we joke but rarely share this stuff because frankly it’s hard, there is shame on our parts and all that other mixed up shit we feel when our finances are janky. It doesn’t change the reality of our lives but to know we are not alone does offer comfort.
In all honesty the one area that I have chosen to not talk much about is the marital woes because frankly it’s not just about me. It’s about the Spousal Unit, it’s about our family, one kid who is old enough to read what I write and get it. So for me that is the one subject where being just a smidge open is good enough.
Funny thing though with all this openness that we currently have, is it means we are no longer anonymous. It means separating our public/private life is harder to do, thanks to social media unless you are completely not plugged in at some point you will be linked in whether you like it or not. As folks recently discovered turns out these social media outfits are collecting everything about us even when we think they aren’t. Klout recently made changes to their algorithm, apparently my influencers are friends of mine that are not only not using Klout they don’t even use Twitter. They are actual real life friends who happen to use Facebook. That shit boggles my mind. Big Brother is watching!
I recently encountered a real life situation that has made me even more mindful, someone I met through my day job, decided to look me up online. Thanks to LinkedIn this person probably knows more about me than they need to, including being able to read this blog. I am fine with it, but the degrees of separation are smaller than previously thought. I walk a fine line in that my job requires a certain way of being, heading up a Christian faith based agency pretty much has certain expectations and I admit I do wonder at times is my public persona even in my off time, adhering to that code? I think so, since me the smart ass is the same me that shows up every day, maybe just a tad softer.
Yet I often wonder do people really think about the possible fall out of sharing too damn much? I recently had a conversation with an offline pal about some photos she put up online; she is a bit younger than me and just living life. I suggested that she needs to be mindful because while she is living and enjoying life now in her 20’s those photos could bite her in the ass down the road. She laughed it off and said well the pictures are on a secure site…I said really? Took me less than an hour to access those photos off that site and my talents as a hacker are nil; I am just a good researcher. HR departments these days are looking for a reason to put people’s resume in a circular file, why give them one?
A few days ago I ran across this story, this gal is living and enjoying life as a sex positive woman which I applaud, more of us need to be sex positive, we are too damn uptight. Yet in choosing to unmask herself she is now locked in a custody battle with her ex, has been asked to leave the Girl Scouts troop and her kid can’t get anyone to come to her birthday party. All because Mom likes sex and showed her dildo collection off in newspaper and now the whole damn internet. I applaud her for what she did but at the same time I will be honest and say maybe that was a level of openness was just a bit too much.
Reading that piece made me reflect and really define that line I knew I had but never could really explain, if my sharing and openness can affect my livelihood or family then it’s too much. Let me ask you dear reader; is there a thing as too much sharing? If so how do you define it?
3 thoughts on “Too much openess and honesty is bad for ya!”
That woman should have know better. America like to act as though real life doesn’t exist. People only have sex in movies and in pornos. No one but my acebooncoons need to know how many dildos I have. The public doesn’t not need to know that. Somethings I think should remain private. Especially depending on where you live and your community. Would I tell too many folks here where I live that I’m bi? Only the ones that I know I’m not going to have to cuss the fuck out later. Can I talk about sex openly? Yes. Does everyone need to know that I’m curious about breath play and I love threesomes? No. They do not. As my mother would always say use your discretion.
Back in the 90s I bared all — but to bare my actual physical self would have required taking a photograph with a camera, getting it developed, scanning it, and uploading the huge file. People were doing that, but it was too much effort for me (thank goodness, since in my 20s I had not much awareness of consequences).
It’s amazing how things have changed now that I know every single word I write or image I share could eventually be seen by anyone. What I too frequently use as my guide is, “would I want my mother reading this?” and then I find myself censoring a bit too much…
This was a terrific post, *your real name here*, seems it might be good to modify and use as a Phoenix column?
I like this post because I think you capture why I feel a need to guard myself online. It goes back to what you and I always talk about- the limits of the virtual medium. When you say that people don’t talk about so many issues that many of us face, my experience is that it doesn’t happen online. It absolutely does- in my face to face interactions with people that I have relationships with. The natural back and forth of conversations and the ability to share IN MORE THAN ONE DIRECTION is key, for me. Online, sharing intimate parts of my life- positive and negative- with the ether…nameless, faceless people who may or may not respond, or have any context with which to understand where I’m coming from is not something I’m entirely comfortable with. And I don’t have the time/energy or interest in explaining every single facet of my background to contextualize what I’m talking about. Hence, why I make decisions about access to my info on FB/twitter/blog. I’m totally fine with that. But, again, I have the luxury of a rich in-person set of interactions with coworkers, friends and family every day offline so my online interactions compliments that. Trust me, we are talking about money woes, sex woes (and good stuff), parenting, work, LIFE. For those who don’t have that, I think each person will really have to set their own proverbial line in the sand, and it’ll be different for all. And that’s ok.
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