So it seems that blogging is once again in the public eye (Or it was at one point last week when I couldn’t write a post cause I was on a self restricted ban until my book editing was done), and this time it’s because we all self indulgent over sharers.
Ok. What’s new about that? 😉
According to many, not only are we sharing too much of our own lives, but also too much of our children’s and they are going to grow up one day and resent us all for admitting to the world that time they had a tantrum in the shopping aisle at Coles, when they were two. We really better start saving for their therapy now.
As one of those over sharing mummy bloggers, when I hear about this kind of discussion, it makes me take stop and think. Am I sharing too much? Am I invading my children’s privacy, and setting them up for possible future embarrassment.
But I think not.
Now before I say anything further, I need to preface this discussion, with the fact that there is such a thing as over sharing. There is a line that shouldn’t be crossed. For most of us, that line will differ from family to family, but there are some things that are never acceptable. Such as publishing nude photos of your kids on the internet. That is always wrong, and asking for trouble.
But for most of us, like I said, the line is negotiable. We decide as families what is and is not acceptable to share, and we take into account the needs of our children. We consider the impact of their digital footprint, and what we are putting out there.
But the idea that we are sharing too much all the time? I have to say that not only do I not agree, but I think the argument is flawed, for three very different reasons.
1. Our kids are growing up in a totally different world to us. Completely different. They are growing up to be Generation O. As in O for Over sharing. They are on social media as soon as they are allowed, and they are tech savvy. They see what others do, and they will join in. It’s nothing to take a photo of every momentous occasion of your life, even if the occasion is simply breakfast. I don’t think our kids will grow up resenting us for sharing them; they’ll be doing it themselves.
Obviously there exists the need for us to discuss with each other, what is and isn’t’ acceptable forms of sharing. Photos of your latest bikini wax, really don’t need to occupy web space….
2. If over sharing is the norm, then not sharing is not only weird, but particularly hurtful. Imagine growing up knowing your mother had written a blog about her life, but she never mentioned you ever. Would you be grateful? Or kinda sad that she never thought to write about you? I know which I would be!
Like I said, there are lines and limits, and teenagers probably don’t need to be chronicled quite as in-depth as two year olds, but leaving them out altogether doesn’t seem that kind either.
3. Sharing is caring. I blog for a number of reasons. Partly because I have an insatiable need to write almost constantly, and partly because I actually think it’s helpful for others. I’m not assuming that I’m some super human person who has multitudes to offer, but I do have something to offer, just as we all do. Whether that’s comic relief at my stupidity, or just an honest truth that one person can relate to and feel better because of it, that’s enough for me. If my children ever ask me why I shared their faults or failures or screaming fits, I will explain to them that it was never about embarrassing them, but always about encouraging others. That I share my own faults and failures and screaming fits for the exact same reason. Our lives are not meant to be about us doing whatever we need to feel great, but about doing for others what they need to feel awesome. It’s always about giving.
And if there is one thing I know about parents, it’s that there is some kind of tangible relief that comes from seeing that not only is not every other child perfect, but neither is their mother. (Or father, as the case may be.)
We can all engage in the great over sharing debate, and we should. Like I said, we all need to find the line we feel comfortable with. For some, that may mean stopping all together. For others, it might be sharing their amount of cervical mucous. Whatever. I guess the main question is asking ourselves, why we share the way we do?
What’s our motivation?
And what’s about you, and what’s about others?
What’s too much?
What’s your view on over sharing?
Do you think our kids are going to resent us in the future?
Or wonder what all the fuss was about?