I have a whole section of my life I can’t talk about on the internet. It is the most complicated, the most emotional and the all-encompassing thing in my life, and I can’t talk about it.
I used to tell the internet alllllll my business. There’s some really unflattering photos of me out there, and from what you get when you google my name, I would be no good for politics. (hashtag: recoveringdramallama)
I had no filter. I would run my mouth EVERYWHERE. Everything was fair game.
And I learned the hard way how that is not a great way to live. I had the proverbial rug yanked out from under me and I crashed hard.
It’s so hard sometimes to know what to talk about on the internet, a faceless sea of eyes that are constantly watching and you have no idea whose faces they’re attached to.
You know somebody is watching, but
My cousin, whom I haven’t seen in years, knows a lot about me (despite the fact we haven’t spoken since my youngest was born). Facebook is full of people I know of, but might not recognize on the streets, all of whom are able to see my posts about my difficulties sleeping when nobody is home but me.
It is incredibly difficult to find that sweet spot in the middle: where you are sharing enough of yourself and getting it out, but not telling everyone all of your business.
I’ve gone back and forth between an oversharing period and a period where I had the best poker face in the whole world.
But when it all comes down to brass tacks, I have one rule about what I post on the internet:
Would I read this post out loud, into a megaphone, in a room full of all of my exes, my coworkers and my family?
It’s kind of a weird rule. You can replace those groups of humans with whomever you choose. I suggest choosing the most judgey people you know.
If you wouldn’t tell your husband and all of his rugby buddies, does it need to be on the internet? If your coworker would be upset by what you wrote about her, is it really necessary to post?
Another (related) question I ask myself is this:
If what I am about to post was read back to me in a court of law, would I be proud to stand behind it, or would I feel the need to deny it?
Write what you want, honestly. It’s all on you.
But be willing to stand behind it, should the need arise. If you can’t stand behind it, why are you posting it?
This post was written as a part of the NaBloPoMo, a daily blogging journey I am committing to in November 2017.