Personal vs. Private (Sharing Online)

Our generation was faced with navigating the new frontier of the digital world years ago. We grew up with social media and what role it played in our lives. And we were met with an unrelenting challenge- understanding what to share online, and how much is too much?

Much of the online world hinges on transparency. People want real, raw, and authentic. And rightly so. We strive for authentic relationships, but being online means something a little different. It isn’t just a room full of close friends gathering around a dinner table. It’s thousands of strangers looking from the outside in on your perceived identity. So what does that mean for sharing your heart?

It comes down to the difference between personal and private. In my mind it looks something like this: being proud of your city or town, but not handing out your private address for everyone. For so many years the biggest concern for social media was safety. While that hasn’t gone away, I think it’s important to remember the foundation for the concern. No one should feel pressured to share too much or compare themselves to others.

We can still be authentic online. We can still share trials and triumphs in our personal life without disclosing every last detail.  It isn’t lying; it isn’t even withholding truth. It’s taking control over your online identity with purpose. And yes, everyone’s threshold for privacy is different, and we as consumers of media need to respect that. But we owe it to ourselves to at least consider what we’re sharing, and why we’re sharing it.