Public Sphere vs. Private Sphere

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A friend of mine recently commented that my life seems to totally revolve around fitness lately.  I haven’t talked to this friend much recently, so she’s getting her info entirely from Facebook and my blog.  She meant it as a joke, knowing full well that there were clearly other things going on in my life, but it got me to thinking.

In the blogging world, there seem to be two camps of bloggers – those who share everything about their lives and those who really endeavor to keep parts of their lives private.  Nothing wrong with either camp, but it sometimes leads people to make assumptions about the people writing the blogs they read.

I’m a fairly open person with my friends, but when it comes to my blog and my internet presence, there are certain things that I don’t publicize.  I never talk about my job, for example.  I have one and I love it and if we meet in person, I will tell you all about it, but I don’t feel the need to mix work and blogging.

I’m pretty sure that my Instagram account is currently at least 75% cats.  I realize this makes me seem like a crazy cat lady.  I used to fight against this title, now I just rock it.  Whatever.  I have cats and they are awesome.  They are furry little jerks, but I love them just the same.  The other 25% of my account is either fitness related or random things I felt like taking pictures of.

But while fitness and cats and random photos might make up 100% of my social media life, they certainly don’t make up 100% of my life.  It’s not that I’m intensely private by any means.  In fact, I’m pretty much an open book.  But social media is incredibly public and the internet is forever.  When I’m 80, I’m not going to be embarrassed about posting pictures of my cats or my running and triathlon stuff on the internet.  (When I’m 80, I’m not going to be embarrassed about anything, I’m going to be awesome because I’m 80.)  But I don’t feel the need to detail my relationships or vagueblog about friendships.

I’d like to think it’s obvious that there are elements of my life that I’m not sharing, but I think for other bloggers, the line isn’t as obvious, and I see people commenting about it.  “Man, that girl is boring.  All she does is workout and watch tv.”  (Hey, who hasn’t had a week like that?)  Or “She only posts pictures of her baby, never her older kids.  I bet she has a favorite.”  Maybe that blogger posts pictures of the baby because the older kids don’t want to be on social media.  Baby pictures are always adorable, but I’m glad there aren’t tons of pictures online of my awkward years (which perhaps are still continuing, the jury’s still out on that one).

I sometimes think that people tend to overshare on social media. Some bloggers do seem to write about absolutely everything, and that’s their choice.  I simply believe that you should think before you type and decide if what you are about to say is something you really want out there forever.


4 thoughts on “Public Sphere vs. Private Sphere

  1. I cannot applaud this post more. Particularly in 2013, but also into 2014, I had a really bad run in my personal life and the drama was High. I actually went offline for a bit from social media while I tried to get my head above water. I think people believe that because SOME stuff gets shared, that what’s being shared is ALL of it, just like you said.
    Tai Fung recently posted…2015 Cherry Blossom Volunteer ReportMy Profile

  2. Jenn – I agree – cats are awesome. And I don’t mind being a cat lady, and I don’t mind being crazy, I just don’t like the negative connotation of crazy cat lady. I would love to have a dog too, but cats are so much less work. “Sorry, cats, leaving for the weekend. Here’s some food.” Can’t do that with a dog. Or kids.

    Tai Fung – I definitely try to share the highs of my life, but I am pretty careful to not share a lot of the negativity. Not that I don’t think people should, of course. Some of my favorite bloggers are the ones who are brutally honest about depression, for example. But when I’m having a bad day, for the most part, the internet won’t know. If I have a bad run or fall off my bike, sure. But in general, a lot of my personal stuff stays personal, ESPECIALLY if it involves other people.

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