At a blogging conference this year (Britmums Live) one of the speakers, Katie Hill, called us a room full of massive over sharers”. At the time I laughed and thought nothing of it, then today I listened to a discussion on Radio 4’s Women’s Hour about parent blogging and gave the idea more thought. Jayne Garvey and parent bloggers Alice Harold (More Than Toast) and Tim Atkinson (Bringing Up Charlie) discussed parent blogging. One of the things they talked about was the sharing of our own and our children’s lives on our blogs. In fact Jayne mentioned seeing photos of Alice’s sleeping children and that looking at them felt intrusive.
Honestly it would never have occurred to me that this was oversharing. I’m so immersed in the world of blogging and social media that this kind of sharing feels commonplace, normal and acceptable.
I blogged my most personal thoughts and feelings from a bed in a mental health unit whilst fairly unwell, at the time it felt like the right thing to do. Looking back, I’m not sure it was. In fact now I even question why I felt the need to share such a deeply difficult and personal experience with, potentially, the entire world.
For me, at that time, writing my innermost thoughts, ideas and feelings was massively cathartic. It helped me to process them. Using my blog to do it gave me access to feedback and empathy, the kind words of people who commented at that time really helped me get through that experience. I’m also hopeful that what I shared could help other people in similar situations.
Then there is the smaller sharing. The jokes about my toddler’s will fullness. The funny stories about my ‘bad’ Mummy moments. They feel like nothing when I’ve blogged such personal stuff, but still my children will potentially read what I’ve written about them, without their permission. They’re too young to understand the internet and it’s indelibility. What will the children of parent bloggers make of all this?
At the end of the day I guess we all have to draw our own line in the sand. I think for me, recently, things have changed. Sharing too much has started to feel like tearing strips off of myself for entertainment, there are things I want to keep for me and my immediate family. I want some things to remain sacred and special. I’ll keep blogging in a similar vein, but when I write about my family life I will keep in mind these thoughts. I will be extra careful not to post anything too personal or potentially embarrassing about myself or the rest of the Purple family.
What do you think? If you’re a blogger where do you draw the line? If you’re not a blogger what do you think about us and what we share?