Sharing things online can leverage massive positive returns. It’s a shame then, that the same applies to the negative ones.
As a content creator, I have to ask myself the question: where do I draw the line with oversharing, if at all?
When I first made an Instagram account, I kept my account public. Anyone could search me up and have a browse of my photos, captions and comments etc.
In my head, I had nothing to hide. This was my proof, and it kept me accountable for my actions. I’d think: if I share this photo, everyone can see it. That'll keep me mindful of what I’m doing and of what’s acceptable.
I didn’t share anything that I wasn’t prepared to have misinterpreted, exaggerated or misconstrued. As long as I was comfortable with what I shared, nobody could make me feel otherwise.
Years later, I decided to become a creator, to share things online with the intention of having them seen and interacted with as much as possible.
Shortly after, I started to ask myself some questions: How much should I share? Should I jump on the latest trends? I’m not too sure if I like TikTok, should I create on there anyway?
Consistently creating online comes in tandem with self-confidence. And the more confident you become, the more you’re willing to try new things. But soon, you might reach a point where almost nothing is off the table. Everything becomes acceptable for the sake of ‘growth’.
I had two issues with this.
Firstly, I think it’s a lazy stance to take. An all-or-nothing mentality obviates the need to think hard about what’s worth keeping private. Instead of being intentional with our sharing, we say yes to everything, disguising it under the idea of ‘being vulnerable’ or ‘having nothing to hide’.
Secondly, most people don’t have skin thick enough to deal with backlash on a large scale. In my earlier ‘public account’ days, even if I posted something which backfired, I’d only ever have to deal with a few people to get on top of the situation. As a creator, you could face a barrage from thousands of people, which could truly break anyone.
My advice is that, if you’re going to share something online, make sure you’re ready for it to shapeshift into something else entirely. As long as you know what you meant and you hold firm to those intentions, nothing should break you.
For example, if you just ended a relationship and aren’t in the best state mentally, perhaps it's not the best time to share intricate details with your following. As you may not have healed from it just yet, what you share can evolve into something much bigger and more sinister, forcing you to have to play catch-up and deal with an ever-growing issue.
Alternatively, if you keep it to yourself and allow yourself to heal first, you may just come out of that situation stronger. Then, you’re ready to tell your story (if you wish to).
There’s a time and place to share things. And then there are things that shouldn’t be shared at all. Not everything is worth the views, and not everything is deserved of outside input.
As important as it is to identify what you’re okay with doing in order to grow, it’s just as important to outline what you won’t.