We all know that social media, and the internet in general, can be a weird place. Living in the age of the influencer, the blogger, and the vlogger… we see and hear a lot about strangers’ lives. People share everything from what they had for lunch, to where they went on vacation, and what they do for fun. Most people who have a larger platform are relatively comfortable sharing any and every thing about their lives. But there are definitely many people that believe less is more with social media sharing.
I was inspired to write this post when I was scrolling the other day, and came across a photo of a women’s booty in a bikini, in the mirror. The caption said something along the lines of I am a mother of three and my body has changed a lot, but I am finally starting to feel comfortable and confident again. Briefly looking through the comments, you could sense how mixed the response to the picture was. There were a lot of people supporting her, there was a ton of hate and body shaming (which is a whole other topic entirely), but the one comment that grabbed my attention said, “Love that you are confident, but not everything needs to be shared on social media.”
For some reason this one stood out the most, and it just rubbed me the wrong way.
For one, I don’t know her, but it probably took a lot of courage for this woman to post this photo. She probably wanted to show off her hard work & potentially motivate others. It’s frustrating to see someone get belittled or put down because of what they chose to post.
I personally am someone who is extremely open about my life. I talk about my fitness journey, my insecurities, my career struggles, my relationships, what I eat… pretty much everything. I like sharing. I always have. When I was younger, I was the “look at me” kid with my parents, family, and their friends and that interest in public attention and performance never really went away. Over the years I have channeled that “look at me, mom” energy into something different. I share a lot now, not for attention… but for connection. The whole reason I have this platform, and what fuels my passion as a trainer and health coach is the desire to inspire and connect with other humans. I want to show people my struggles, my confidence, my happiness, and so many other parts of my lifestyle as a form of motivation for others. I post to open a dialogue with my followers that I, or others, can potentially learn from. I share in hopes that someone else might benefit from my story by gaining a new perspective, or by taking a piece of advice, or simply by just relating to me and feeling a little less alone in a similar struggle.
In the past, I have had friends say, “You post too much.” And I have had family ask why I am sharing personal information. I have even had boyfriends and people I was dating be uncomfortable with the way that I use my social media. But guess what? I kept doing what I do because this is my life, not anyone else’s. I get to choose what I do and don’t do; or post and not post. Yes, there are absolutely some things that I keep private. There are parts of me that I keep for myself and there are things that I share only with my partner or my inner circle. But, the things that I do share, regardless of what others think, isn’t too much. Because it is normal and authentic to me and to who I am.
Just because you, from your vantage point of the world, believe that someone is “doing too much” or “sharing too much,” doesn’t give you any right to make someone feel bad for posting whatever the hell they want to post. You may personally not want to share things about your daily life. You might want to keep your successes a little more private. You may not want to show your body off. And you might only want to post once in a blue moon. Guess what.... THAT’S OKAY!! You are completely entitled to your opinion. But your opinion does not put you in a position to shame others for sharing a lot or for posting the things that you, yourself, would not share.
Moral of the story is live and let live. We all have different preferences, opinions, and ways of using social media. Sure, not everything needs to be shared, but that determination of what does and doesn’t get posted is an individual choice that shouldn’t be criticized. Plus, if you really are bothered by what someone is posting, or how they are using social media, you don't have to follow them.