Apparently, I’m not the only one who’s social media shy. And that’s a huge relief. I am not alone.
Being “out there” on social media has long been a struggle for me. For example, despite Facebook offering the perfect platform for sharing the ups and downs of having a new baby with friends and family, when my son was born in 2007 I actively shunned the platform in favour of email. There’s still a folder in my Gmail account labelled “Baby has arrived,” which my husband used to send out an announcement. It has 64 contacts in it. Sixty-four!
And it would be more than two years more before I would join Facebook. I posted twice in 2009, not at all in 2010, and 16 times ins 2011, with the bulk of the posts being news story shares.
Far Behind the Facebook Curve
A Wikipedia entry about the history of Facebook puts the average monthly growth of active users in the early days of the platform at 178.38%. I could have been a part of that. But instead I was so far behind the curve I joined when Facebook’s monthly active user growth averaged just 6.99%.
I’ve posted a lot more on Facebook in more recent years, but even now my posts tend heavily toward sharing news from other sources, not my own.
And it’s not that I’m shy. My friends and family — especially the introverts — will tell you I’m anything but. What it comes down to is that I’m still trying to get over the feeling that I don’t want all my life out there for everyone to know about and comment on.
I suppose I’ve made some peace with Facebook. I feel like I contribute enough to be more than a lurker but — once again far behind the curve — I’m still struggling with Twitter and Instagram, where most of my friends post regularly but I can’t seem to.
Trying to Figure Out Who Cares
My biggest difficulty is trying to figure out who beyond the tight circles of friends and family I interact with off-line cares what I think … or even more so what I drink. In case you’re wondering, I have posted to Instagram once, coffee art, not original, but unthreatening. Like this:
And maybe that’s the answer. I think what makes me uncomfortable is the oversharing on much of social media, Facebook particularly, and that’s tainted my own view of it and comfort with it as a tool for personal connection.
Being OK with Where I’m At
And maybe that’s OK. Maybe just because it feels like everyone else is putting everything out there, doesn’t mean I have to as well. Showing up at a party doesn’t oblige me to tell everyone else there my innermost thoughts, and showing up on social media doesn’t either.
What about you? Do you spill the beans about every aspect of your life on social media, do you keep most of your private life private, or do you fall somewhere in between?
I’m not quick to share much about my personal life on social media, mostly because I’m not sure any beyond my immediate circle is interested. What about you? Are your Facebook feed and your Instagram page full of intimate details about your life or do you hold back when it comes to social media? #notalone #whocareswhatIthink
Discovering I’m not the only one who doesn’t want to spill everything on social was a relief. I don’t struggle alone! #whocareswhatIthink
Photo 1: courtney guttenberg. Cropped. Licensed under Creative Commons.
Photo 2: Pixabay