To Share, or Not To Share?
That is the question I constantly ask myself. I find social media to be so gratifying and yet very draining much of the time. For example, I share an Instagram story with a recipe I’m cooking, and a friend messages me that she is going to try that too. Wow, that feels good for me! I love that I was able to influence something a loved one cooks/does/reads/wears. Alternatively, I post a photo sharing our pregnancy, and I wonder, was that a mistake? Should I really be blasting out personal news like that on my public Instagram page? Is it sincere? And what drives me to share?
My husband, Brandon, must be a different breed of human. He has no compulsion, at all, whatsoever to post things that are happening in our life on social media. In fact, he barely ever posts, and if he does, it’s a random, (usually) grainy photo that I wouldn’t dream of pasting into my styled grid. He mainly uses social media to watch videos of the Rock eating 24 rolls of sushi for dinner. Yup. Secret’s out, Bran. My brother too. He’ll share the occasional bread loaf he baked, but not his college graduation photos or his sister’s wedding. It’s just not at all an important part of his life.
This difference in how we present ourselves over the internet always makes me a little insecure. It forces me to question the whole point of posting, and I can’t say I’ve come to any conclusions. Why do we do it? Do I share for the likes? Do I share because I’m just a public person; an open book? Do I share because I want to document the things happening in my life, in hopes of looking back one day? Or do I simply share because it’s fun? I look at people like Brandon, who never post a thing and are happy as clams, and I feel envious. Why can’t I be like that? Then, I quickly revert to thinking “but that’s not me! I love to share!” and then again, I’m back at square one. Is it really who I am, or is it who I’ve been conditioned to be by our society? Am I sharing because Facebook likes are a social currency the way that birthday cards once were? Am I afraid that if I don’t post on Instagram, the world won’t know how much I’m changing, growing and evolving? Most importantly, am I afraid that if I don’t make my presence known, I might disappear from relevance?
Tell me your thoughts on this. Why do you share on social media? And do you think it’s a good thing? Or do you wish that you could delete the apps and go back to a life of actually calling or (gasp!) seeing your friends in real life to talk about what’s new? Have you given it any thought, or am I overanalyzing?