Naturally, with the rise and popularity of social media and blogging, it has become more acceptable to share moments that were once private or only disclosed to a limited audience with a wider audience.
We are intrigued to discover more about the people we follow. Whether that’s close friends and family, or strangers we are only connected to via the internet. Our comfort with involving ourselves voyeuristically in the lives of others seems to be growing fast.
How many of you spend a few minutes an evening slowly tapping your way through various Instagram stories, purely to see what everyone else is upto? What exciting things they can share with you? I do.
Sharing, is it natural?
I regularly have moments where I sit and reflect about how and what I share online, and if it’s at the right level or if I could perhaps be labelled as an ‘over-sharer’. As a writer and content creator, it’s important to find that balance and maintain it. What makes it difficult is that it’s often the more personal content, the writing where you share your experiences and opinions, which resonates more with readers.
If I look at the data for my most read posts over the last year, it’s easy to see that articles where I give a more personal perspective or a little more insight into the person behind the posts are the one’s at the top of the table for views.
So how do I personally find the balance?
If you don’t know me well, you might be shocked to find out that I am quite introverted, would rather be at home with a book than at a party, and get incredible nervous before joining a big crowd.
This is quite a contrast to the person you may see online.
I am aware that in order for people to feel engaged with my posts, to follow my updates and to join in the conversations my writing hopefully prompts, I need to give a little first.
Therefore, to assess and measure how much I ‘give’ I regularly ask myself
‘Is this something I would share with someone I have just met?’
If the answer is yes, it’s good to go. If the answer is no, I check why I want to share it and what the purpose is.
For me, my boundaries are quite clear.
What do people know about me?
Sometimes it’s quite interesting to put the microscope back on yourself to truly discover how much a stranger could know about you from your online sharing.
It would be easy for someone to discover that I live in York, I have two cats, love to read and travel, and live minimally.
If you have access to my private social accounts, obviously the information I share becomes a lot more detailed.
Have you looked at yourself through the lens of a stranger recently? How much do they really know about you?
It’s not getting easier though
As we move into an age where people are willing to share a lot more, it becomes harder as a content creator to get people to read your articles, like your posts and share your blogs if they just don’t give them as much insight as the next person is happy to.
These days, anyone can become a blogger, and the majority of people I know share regularly on social sites, especially Instagram, so what is it that will make my content stand out and people actually want to read it?
It’s that personal touch.
Why do you think people like the Kardashians, Reality TV stars, Love Island, Big Brother and Made in Chelsea alumni have amassed such a huge following with people hanging on to their every word, trend and business? Because they know that we love to feel involved. They share every minute of their lives with us across multiple platforms, and like it or not, the majority of us get engaged with it in some way or other during our lives.
Personally, I am not currently willing to give away more than I do right now on my public platforms. Does that mean my blog, platform and content will suffer? I am sure I will soon find out.
What do you think about sharing online? Are you a post every moment person, just a special event sharer, or a social shadow who prefers to look rather than post?