Oversharing vs. Hiding on the Internet

social media status

When it comes to your presence online, you are usually in total control. Sure, an ex-boyfriend can spew nasty secrets about you on Facebook or a frenemy can post some unflattering Friday night photos on her blog, but for the most part you are in control. When putting your deepest thoughts or silly opinions on the internet for the world to see can be scary, some people don’t even think twice before hitting “enter”. I like to put people in one of two buckets: those who overshare and those who hide.

As someone who is prevalent on social media, runs a lifestyle blog and is a freelance writer, I have had my fair share of run-ins with this complexity. I sometimes worry that the personal post I spent a lot of time writing will make people think I’m a weirdo. But I’ve realized that if I spent my time worrying about things like that, especially what others might assume about me without knowing the truth, I would never be posting anything. I would be hiding my true feelings, thoughts and aspirations. And I’m pretty bad at hiding things.

So many people are afraid to share things with others, and I get that- to a certain extent. For me, sharing the not-so-great parts of my life just shows that I’m human. I feel that it could help someone else identify with me, feel like they aren’t alone, or maybe even offer some help to me. I think that sharing a balance of the good and the bad is gritty, honest and real. And I like that.

On the other side of the spectrum is the art of oversharing. We all have that high-school friend who posts raunchy tweets about their boyfriend (ew), Instagrams a photo each time they get a drink at Starbucks (really, people?), or posts a half-naked selfie to Facebook (your Aunt Elda doesn’t need to see your cleavage). That can be a bit much. These people are addicted to the validation of social media- the number of likes, retweets and comments is what they feed off of.

I’ve also found that the people who tend to overshare the amazing things that happen in their life to try to make up for something else. For example, those girls who go on and on about how fun it is so be a single 20-something and how people who are in relationships are “boring”. Their endless photo stream of drinks at a bar or “girl’s nights- love my bitches! xo” tweets just show their insecurity about their own romantic life. But what those photos or tweets don’t show is the amount of Ben & Jerry’s they inhale after watching a rom-com or how the boy they liked is in a relationship with someone else and their jealousy is out of control. 

There’s a fine line between being an over-sharer, someone who hides everything or someone who selectively shares the “good” in their life. I’ll admit that maybe I’m not always a perfect example of this, but over time have become more aware of the persona I have created for myself online. I don’t want to come off as a bitch, but I also don’t want to only post pretty photos that mean nothing. I’m encouraging all of you to take a deep look at the things you share with others. Are you too afraid to hit “publish” on that blog post about your parent’s divorce? After reading your last few tweets, do you realize that you need to turn down the constant complaining about your job? Re-evaluate how your persona could come off and if that is the real you.

What do you think about your online persona? Are you an over-sharer or a hider? 

28 Comments

  1. This is so great!! I totally agree with you and think that there is a very fine line – I don’t post to Facebook nearly as much as I used to, mostly because I don’t think it’s important for people to know that I’m going here for dinner or whatever! But in terms of my blog – I share for reviews of restaurants as well as for people that might eventually come to boston! I always reread every thing i put on my blog – because I never want to come off as someone that I’m not or worse – someone that is materialistic!

  2. It is a fine line! I would like to think that I am getting better about it. Of course I want to share the fun/interesting moments of my life, as long as there are some “real” ones in there too.

  3. i am more of a hider, at least for my personal life. i don’t have a personal facebook page, and most of my instagrams and tweets are blog related. i am very sensitive about this because the way i found out my ex was cheating on me was through twitter – the “other girl” reached out to me that way. after that i took a big step back from sharing my personal life on social media and tend to stay a bit more quiet…

  4. There definitely is a fine line. And I KNOW I’m not very good at it. I will post pictures of my dog, or when we go on trips, or if my boyfriend and I take a good picture. I will share random thoughts, quotes, etc. but I never really share the negatives. Probably because I feel that it will always come off as complaining and maybe that it will not encourage other people. But it is really nice to see all sides of people, not just the good. Thank you for this! I should definitely check out what I’m sharing and see if it really reflects me.

  5. I’m definitely more of a hider on Facebook. In the past, I used to post more often but now I don’t feel the need to share so many things with people. I usually only share photos and post the occasional status update.

  6. I hardly ever share my life on any social media aside from my blog. It’s funny yesterday I posted a similar thought on my blog about how some people over share especially about their relationship status.

  7. I wouldn’t say I’m an over-sharer at all (I can’t handle when people over share on social media haha) but I’m also not a hider, so definitely somewhere in the middle!! Great post. xo, Julie

  8. I think that I am a bit of both. There are certain aspects of my life that I will probably over-share to make up for certain things that I don’t want to share. In essence I distract people about certain topics because I’d rather just focus on certain things.

  9. Hmm, I think I’m definitely in the oversharer camp. I tend to overshare thoughts and feelings about certain topics in real life and that tends to spill over into my internet life. That said, working in PR/being a blogger means those things I’m sharing never cross a certain line, you know!?

  10. Hahaha, I’m totally a hider {but your post definitely made me realize it!} Being on social media all day for work makes me even less inclined to share what’s going on in my own life – only when I have something really imporant to say do I actually say it.

  11. There is a total balance – I am inbetween, it depends how I am feeling. I guess compared to most I am an oversharer – heck, I write a blog and throw my personal details everywhere!

  12. i agree iwth you in so many ways! i think that i am personally a mix of the two. i am not afraid to talk about the good, the bad, or the ugly. when it comes to instagram, i usually only like to post good things, but in blog posts, i definitely share the bad, too.

  13. It is definitely a fine line, but I do agree with you about the people that overshare the amazing things. I have a friend who does this and she’s extremely insecure (but seriously, she’s admitted it).

  14. I’m definitely an over sharer, but that’s how I am in real life too. I over share everything though, the good and the bad. You’re right in that it’s a thin line, I think you just have to do what makes you feel comfortable. There’s someone for everyone and while I don’t like to read vague self hidden blogs, I know there’s a place for it. Same goes for us over sharers 🙂

  15. Ahh i totally get both sides of this situation. I feel that i was an over sharer and now most of the things i tweet/instagram/social media anything are typically blog related. Though sometimes i do want to “vent” or write something un-outfit post related, but don’t have the courage to do so.

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