On Oversharing

Today, I saw a post on Facebook by Tara Stiles, linking to this post on her blog, and it resonated like whoa.

If I still kept one of those archive calendar things on the side of my blog, you’d see that I blog significantly less than I ever have. (Yet, I’m on track to have my biggest month ever this month – and I actually have a “Blog Less, Blog Better” post idea I’m still fleshing out that I hope to post soon.)

It’s equal parts time, vulnerability and peace.

Time: I have a lot more demands on my time than when I started this blog, between a busier job, Junior League, etc.

Vulnerability: I’ve put myself out there quite a bit on this site. Most of the time, the response has been great, but I won’t lie that some of the occasional stinging comments or things I’ve read about myself elsewhere don’t play a factor in what I do and don’t post.

Peace: I started this blog when I moved to NYC, 50 pounds heavier, working in a job I wasn’t crazy about. This blog filled a massive void in my life. It was a friend, a professional outlet, a personal outlet, a therapist, an accountability partner.

These days, I have more friends and acquaintance than I can keep up with, I lost weight and discovered a happy, fit lifestyle, and I have a job that I love. I have a regular fitness routine. I still love sharing the new fitness classes I try, new fitness products and any random Deep Thoughts with Theodora (/sarcasm font), but I don’t need to tell you about every workout the way I did when I first started blogging. Last summer, I was featured on Yahoo! for a survey Facebook did about fitness. Some of the comments I got were interesting: they were along the lines of “if you’re really/already fit, you don’t need to be/you aren’t talking about it all the time on social media.” An interesting follow-up study would be to see fitness level/experience with fitness of these people.

Tara talked in her post about oversharing skewing how we process events if we’re constantly thinking how we’ll tell the online story. I used to spend so much more time thinking: “how will I blog about this?” Now, I spend a lot more time in the moment and then think later if I’ll share it.

In an interview on The Everygirl, Grace from Stripes and Sequins talks about not wanting to blog full-time because it would take away some of the fun, and I agree. I do love that voyeurism of following other bloggers’ days, but right now, I can’t do that myself, and so when I do share, here or elsewhere, I want it to be something I just couldn’t resist telling you guys or something I absolutely want to record myself for posterity. (Sharing that I met Jillian Michaels or Will Ferrell was basically a reflex. I mean, obviously I was going to share that. I could NOT keep that to myself.)

Which I guess is a really long, convoluted way of saying that I nod my head to you, Ms. Stiles, because I’ve definitely been more cognizant of what I’m sharing, but even moreso, why.

On nights where I do have time to blog but don’t, I do spend some time thinking about what I could blog and typically shoot down a few ideas in my head because they feel hollow, and I don’t want to spend my free time writing here just for the sake of writing. I could make myself an editorial calendar, as I’ve advised those I’ve done blog consulting with, but I’m not trying to achieve any financial or readership goals through this blog right now. Sure, I’d like to make more money or have more people read this, but this is something I do for fun, so I want to keep it fun.

b9a52638815911e3a7050eac887ab8f4 8 On Oversharing

I went to NJ for part of this weekend, and had a great dinner with my parents and spent lots of time with my sweet, little baby cousin. I could have taken a million pictures of her, but I just took time in to snuggle and marvel at how big she’d gotten and how she’s still the damn cutest baby ever. I did take a beautiful photo of my mom and Lexi laughing with each other that’s such a beautiful moment between the three of us that I don’t think I could do it justice by trying to share the context here.

Don’t get me wrong, I still love social media, but just as I use it strategically professionally to meet certain goals, I am also using it strategically personally to make sure it adds to my life, rather than subtracts. And I know that compared to most people, I still do overshare online.

What about you? Do you share a lot online? Why do you share – and has it changed?

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28 comments on “On Oversharing

  1. GiGi Eats Celebrities

    I actually don’t really share ANYTHING about my life. Okay, well I take that back. I do… But it’s more certain accomplishments, I don’t let it ALL HANG OUT – and my blog, is not really about me, it’s about spotlighting foods, diets, etc… I maybe have 2 or 3 videos about ME… Maybe even less! It’s not my thing, but hey, we are each our own people and we can do what we want!

    I love social media for the purpose that it helps me reach people easier! And I have met so many amazing people through it!

    Reply
  2. Kolby Patrick

    I think it’s natural, particularly in the beginning, to post more frequently. But, if I were in the position as a reader trying to lose weight, I would want to be following along on a day by day basis. New lifestyles are hard enough to go it alone, so when you find somebody who is going through the same thing you are, it’s reassuring!

    -Kolby
    http://www.smallwaistsystem.com

    Reply
  3. Carla

    you know I SO SO SO GET THIS.
    lately Ive been blogging far more raw stuff—-writing what *I* want—-and praying people read and KNOWING if they dont that I am ok with what Im creating.

    Reply
  4. Abi@AbsofSteel

    I think my online sharing is pretty balanced. However, I thought the note about always living through moments wondering about whether you should blog about them and how to blog about them is interesting. Social media can be a great way to communicate with people you would have never known otherwise but it’s true that it can become kind of consuming in your life if you let it. Keep blogging when you feel it, I like the genuineness of your posts :)

    Reply
  5. Alicia at Poise in Parma

    I LOVE this post. And I know a few handful of people who need this reminder. Myself included most days.
    …and I’m waiting for that “Blog Less, Blog Better” post. That’s been my internal blog mantra for awhile. Sometimes a blog filter is just as important as the one you put upon yourself in real life…

    Reply
  6. Stella/The Heart's Delight

    I totally get it! The internet is a weird place and the life of a blogger is a constant battle between putting out good content, and exposing yourself (for better or worse) to the online world. I constantly joke around that the posts that always do the best in terms of views and engagement on my site are those involving photos of ME/OOTD/What I Wore type stuff. Ironically, those are the posts that I personally enjoy the least! Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE what I do and am so thankful that people are interested in it, but blogging has certainly been a lesson in sociology, and a reminder that there is a voyeur in all of us that loves to see “behind the curtain” of a URL.
    Thanks so much for the great post!

    XOXO, Stella
    http://www.theheartsdlite.com

    Reply
  7. Carrie Skoll

    I totally get it and am in the same place right now. I blog when I have something to share and try hard to not worry about anything else. I love the blogging community. And I have those same mental conversations all the time. Shooting down posts until I find the right one. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Glad to know I’m not the only one.

    Reply
  8. Amanda @runtothefinish

    Interesting I’ll actually be doing a more personal post on Thursday, but I’ve realized in general I stopped being quite so personal. I do share things once in awhile, but now the focus is more on content that I really hope will benefit anyone who reads and not just me spilling my guts :)

    Reply
  9. Janice - Fitness Cheerleader

    Agreed, once I took the perspective that my blog was a hobby and not going to become a business, I became less stressed, and blogging became much more enjoyable. I do a Monday training recap/planning post and usually only 1 other post. For me 2 posts/week is a good balance and is just to keep me accountable with my fitness.

    Reply
  10. Gianna @ run, lift, repeat

    I actually do not share much about my personal life as in what I am doing outside of training and fitness classes. In general my life can be rather boring and routine so I don’t share a lot of it! I can only say so many times how I’ve got to flywheel, body pump or my training runs :)
    for the most part I keep my friends/dating life/social adventures off of it as well unless something really intriguing. I am also very cognizant of what I share on my blog in regards to my work life and what I want THEM to know (since I know some follow it….) that probably has more of an effect on what I post vs a random persons perspective on me.

    Reply
  11. Ashley

    I think a TON of us bloggers, especially newbies, struggle with this. I am definitely looking forward to your blog less, blog better because I think it’s something I could definitely use to improve my own little online space :)

    Reply
  12. Rebecca Jo

    Depends… I go through phases where I share every moment of my life… to times where I’m like a hermit. I tend to worry about people that share EVERY.THING… I mean every thought in their mind.

    Reply
  13. Presley @ Run Pretty

    I am all over the map with blogging. Some weeks I post crap like “Hey! Had french toast for breakfast!” then other weeks I post once and it’s insanely personal or serious. I guess that’s why blogging is such a weird beast. You can literally post whatever you want. I try not to bore the pants off of people, but I tend to just write about whatever I’m thinking about at that moment. haha I will never be a professional blogger and I’m 100% okay with that.

    Reply
  14. Emily

    I share a lot, but I’m also believe in the support an online community provides. If it weren’t for me sharing my son’s health issues, and all the symptoms he wouldn’t have been diagnosed so quickly. He would have undergone many additional un-needed testing. Instead another mom reached out and shared her daughter’s story. I brought it to my doctor and sure enough he had the rare allergy called FPIES. I think it just lies in what your are comfortable with! Great post!

    Reply
  15. Ericka @ The Sweet Life

    Been struggling with blog stuff lately because my injury is making it difficult to keep up my fitness posts and my promotion at work has made me incredibly busy. I have so much I’d like to do with my blog, including spending an entire figuring out WordPress, ha ha, but I simply don’t have the capacity to do it all. Sometimes I’m comparing to folks that do it for a living, thinking well if this was my job, my blog would be that great too! But I have to keep perspective and just be ME. Thanks for the post friend! :)

    Reply
  16. Debbi

    I don’t do a lot of sharing online. I don’t use my Facebook account very often at all and FB is the only real social media account I have. I have no clue how to use twitter and pintrist (what is that anyway?) or any of the other strange new apps and things out there. I prefer to share with the people that really mean something to me in person, not via social media for all and sundry to see. And I never post personal stuff. Blogging is a different, and I respect your views on it. This is another place I share sometimes, because it’s comforting sometimes to know that there are other people out there who also struggle, have a good time, laugh and enjoy a dinner party etc and want to share. But I have to agree that over sharing is a not cool. However, like you said, meeting Collin Farrel and Jillian is a definite share moment! That was just really awesome!

    Reply
  17. Taylor @ Liftingrevolution

    Love this post! I often worry about sharing too much and even sometimes too little about my life. My husband will ask a lot of times when we’re out if I am going to blog about whatever we’re doing and if I say no he looks amazed. I say it’s because I am more into the experience than taking pictures. Living life is what’s #1 not coming off as a soap opera isn’t important. But good content is #2.

    Reply
  18. Laura Yamin

    I can so identify with your post. For a while I thought that the only way to be a good blogger was to share every detail of my life. The reality is quite the opposite.

    It’s about the quality and that we get to be present in life. Personally, I love the fact that some posts takes me months to marinate and get published, There are stories where I need to work through the feelings in order to see what’s the full lesson.

    Reply
  19. Kara

    This is so well said. I definitely overshare sometimes…and often catch myself thinking, in the moment, how I’ll “explain this on the blog”. Social media has been such a huge tool for me to meet new friends and I think these days, it’s standard to share every little detail. This post really brought me back to reality :) I need to focus on LIVING LIFE in the moment!

    Reply
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  22. Ben JSM

    This is a really nice blog: nice clean layout, easy to read, enjoyable to read. As for over-blogging potentially skewing how we tell events in our lives, because of our desire to tell a good story, I think it is a double-edged sword — never under-estimate how terrible your memory can be. If you decide to blog about something that happened a month ago, you may fabricate the events even more. If you are not sure whether something is worth blogging about, but feel it may be of some interest, at least jot down a few notes on your smartphone’s notepad app so you can easily recall them later, rather than trying to Chinese whisper them from your memory’s vault.

    Reply
  23. Eva

    I really liked that post by Tara too and I think a point to add is that it’s also important to consider other people in our stories when we think of sharing. Maybe some of those people are more private and would like to keep things more personal. In that case, it isn’t fully our story to share.

    Reply
  24. She Rocks Fitness

    I try not to share too much personal “stuff” online, because well I like to keep that private. I am not a fan of taking photos when I am out on weekends with friends, eating, or drinking, because I want to enjoy the moment with them. I just don’t think people need to know what I do 24 hours a day. I try to keep my blog and shares about health, fitness, and to keep people inspired.

    Reply

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