How Much Is Too Much? Sharing Online

I would consider myself an open book. Amongst the few friends that I keep close, there isn’t much about myself that I haven’t or wouldn’t share, and in all truth, the people around me probably know more than they would ever want to. I am TMI embodied – if something weird is going on with my body or if I’m having obscure sex dreams about some kid I used to go to school with, then odds are I’ll bring it up over a casual coffee and iced bun. I love talking about sex and relationships and all things intimate, and when it comes to “confidential” details, the more the better.

I have always been able to keep secrets about other people (you know, that “Okay, don’t tell anybody else, but…” that inevitably gets passed around 15 people anyway), but I can never keep a secret about myself. I can’t even keep gifts a secret – as soon as I buy them, I give them. There’s probably something to be said about instant gratification and the social media age in there, but I’ll leave the millennial shit-talking to Piers Morgan (tw@t). This incessant need to share my own life and my own stories undoubtedly led me to blogging, and when I do have pent up emotions or a bee in my bonnet, there is nothing more cathartic than typing at 1000mph and getting my thoughts down onto paper (well, internet paper).

Sunglasses – Ray Ban
Top – H&M
Jacket – ASOS
Jeans – ASOS
Shoes – Mango
Belt – YSL (sold out – similar)

Photos: Hannah Gale 

The thing about sharing my personal stories is that they are inevitably interwoven with the personal stories of others; of my friends, my family, people from my past. And contrary to what my brain might think in a moment of creative passion, most people don’t want their dirty laundry aired online, even if the only person that can identify themselves in that story is them. Even if the article isn’t negative, there have been a few instances where I’ve shared something on my blog that as a result, certain loved ones felt excluded from or felt didn’t include something that they deemed important. When instances like this occur, I feel like I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place. The writing that I find most stimulating and most satisfying comes from a personal place of experience, but this is the same writing that is potentially most harmful to my most valued relationships. I either feel silenced or selfish.

Towing this line isn’t easy. When I talk about my relationship with Keiran, I can tell from his tone of voice post-reading that he’s not always happy with what I’ve shared. When I wrote my article about self-sabotage in relationships and how self-esteem can come about and bite you in the ass, he thought I’d made it seem like he didn’t make me feel good about myself – as if my self-consciousness was somehow a result of the way he treated me. Of course this wasn’t the case, and I remember at the time expelling a deep and v. v. dramatic sigh, exclaiming “but this piece wasn’t about you.”

And in some ways, I was right. If I’m writing about something very personal to myself and how that facet of my life interconnects with the people around me, then the focus is on me. If I spend all of my time worrying about what somebody might think or might feel, then nothing would ever get written. However there are also times when I’ve been wrong. A few months after breaking up with Jordan, I asked him if I could write about the break-up. At the time I was in the midst of a thousand different emotions, and for me, writing has always been my route to reflection and relief. I’d just lost my best friend, and I was lost. Whilst my motivation for wanting to share came from the right place, it was absolutely the wrong time, and he was right to say no. I was caught up in my own bubble of pain and I wasn’t thinking enough about how he might be feeling, and how he might not want to share something so absolutely personal, so soon.

I still haven’t written about that break-up, and honestly, I never will. I respect that he wanted to keep that private, and I’m grateful for that decision because it allowed me to keep something to myself – to not feel like I have to bear my soul to the internet every time I have #feelings. At the time it seemed strange to me because I was going through this huge emotional upheaval and on my blog and on social media I was all rainbows and butterflies, but that in itself was a lesson. As cliché as it is, we all have personal shit going on behind our VSCO filters and it’s easy to forget that amidst a sea of city break pictures and mirror selfies, our hearts can be broken and our families can be fucked up and we might be way more broke than we appear.

 

How much is too much? That’s the golden question. At what point am I censoring myself and at what point am I hurting others for the sake of my own satisfaction? Unfortunately there is no epiphany with which I can end this post because I don’t have the answer, but what I can predict is that each subject and each relationship will come with its own set of rules, and finding the right fit might have to be a process of trial and error. I’d love to know how you guys juggle the privacy of others and the desire to share your own stories, so do feel free to pop a comment down below or come and find me over on Twitter and Instagram @chloeplumstead. Have a beautiful weekend. 

  • Such a great post. You know what I'm like, I love writing about the honest, and to be quite frank, too personal stuff. I think writing is such a great way to let it all out, and also inspire and help others at the same time. Similarly, it's nice to keep things private too. I like being able to know I've not given away EVERYTHING about myself. We all have stuff going on behind our VSCO filters and I think as long you're okay to share it and you've truly thought about, go ahead and share away. I love reading honest and personal content, so keep doing you and writing what you love girlll! xxx

  • I love this Chloe! I've started to open up more in my posts and to be honest I never give a second thought about what Jack might think and he doesn't have a choice! Definitely need to think about others more!

  • Loved reading this post! I think it's so difficult to know what's too much, I've written so many posts that I haven't had the courage to publish in fear of hurting someones feelings. I really respect that you write so honestly about your life, because it's relatable and actually probably helps people that are going though similar things (I know I've related to one or two anyways!) I guess, as long as you've checked with the other person then it's fine! Also, love your outfit!

    Millie x // Millie’s Wardrobe

  • I loved this post. I would consider myself quite a private person nowadays – I am really hesitant to write anything that is too revealing on social media. However I am trying to change that a bit and be a bit more open with what is going on in my life. It's a bit of a weird experience, but it's felt good to be more honest!

    Lynnsay x
    http://www.sartorialscot.com

  • I think it can be so hard sometimes to know how much to share and how much to keep private. I sometimes wonder if showing photos of inside my home is really a good idea but then I think well why the hell not! By the way, all I can think of is how much I want an iced bun now!

    http://www.luxestyle.co.uk

  • Such an interesting, thought provoking post! I constantly sensor myself from fear that I'm revealing too much. I'm one of those people that will admit something and then instantly regret it! Lauren | http://www.theyoproedit.com

  • As usual I'm obsessed with your look !

    Sara
    http://www.thecrimeofashion.com

  • I recently went through a pretty bad break up and nearly poured it out to the world on my blog but I didn't want to look back at the post later down the line regretting anything I'd said… I think that's when I know when to share or not, whether I'd be happy to look back and read it again in a year or twos time – whether that be a tweet, a fb status or a blog post!

    Love the shirt and belt here too!

    Rose and Weston x

  • This was such an interesting read, it is a difficult one – but I think it's all down to personal preferences. But as you discussed, sometimes others are involved and sometimes there's a line that has to be drawn.

    Hannah | Oh January

  • In such a 'connected' society I think we truly are quite disconnected in an instance, as much as I love to write to express myself the only way I've found to truly rid myself of worries or negative feelings is to talk about them in the real world. If a problem is solved, it is no longer a problem to share. I think sharing experience is positive as people can take from it and apply it to their own situations, but you do have to consider what the 'experience' was. It is a hard one but personally, I think I hold back a lot of my personal life from the internet as I don't want to record that to be kept forever for others to see, I'll write it for myself only for me to see forever.

    Infinity of fashion// Lucy Jane

  • Great post! Indeed, this is a great question. I believe you have to take each situation and deal with them as they come along. If you feel the need to share because it can help someone, then by all means you should share. Now, if you feel a little hesitant about sharing, then just take your time and think about it. I'm pretty much an open book myself. I feel like holding things in can do some damage spiritually and mentally. What I did was find someone that I could share everything with. Now if I feel the need to share a certain experience with others then I will. Lovely outfit!

    -Racquel
    http://www.purposely-you.com

  • great post! find a balance is very diffilcult but necessary for me!
    xx from italy
    Cate ღ 35mm in Style

  • I must warn you, this comment might sound cheesy but I mean every single word.

    You know what ? I admire you.
    Since the first time I went on your blog and hit that Bloglovin button (can't remember, probably in 2014 because I remember I commented on your blog on a post that talked about physical and mind evolving and I said I would love to feel that and being able to reflect on the way I evolved in a positive, similar way you were in the future because I gained weight, felt ugly, disgusting and my life was falling down, well I'm still feeling the same years after, most of it is still the shitty same, but, at the time, you left a comment on my blog so sweet that I screenshot it and thought "Wow, that girl is gold" – sorry for that long ass parenthesis-), anyway, I discovered it thanks to an outfit with striped top, a ponytail and red lips, that will stuck with me because finding that one look on Google images made me discover a writter I enjoy reading nowadays.

    What makes me admire you is the fact that you are very honest and strong. I come here, I read your posts (and look at them because, boy, I love your style and you're so beautiful, the pics are always on point) and I leave the blog thinking I learn something new. It makes me question things, it makes me realize things, your blog is far for being futile, it's intelligent and really well written.

    For you to find a balance on what you can write about and what you can't must be difficult, judging how raw you seem to be, but we appreciate every time you put yourself out there.

    If you happen to write a book someday, I'll be so happy to have it by my bed (and proud that I can read english language ahah)

    Anyway, lots of love. xxxx Adeline from France.

    http://i-think-its-today.blogspot.com

    • Writer, with one T* (probably other grammar mistakes) Oops

  • I loved reading this. See, I barely share things online. Maybe here and there I'll post a sarcastic tweet or RT something but I find it hard to bare my soul, in any way shape or form on my blog, because I'm still not too sure how much is too much, really. Once it's out there, it's there forever and you can't change it. I get so paranoid and worked up about it haha but it only shows how what we see online is not really what's behind the screen 24/7.

    Creepers & Cupcakes

  • I really enjoyed reading this – when I first started blogging it didn't really cross my mind but as the years went on I began to truly think about what I was sharing. As you said most of the time it's interwoven with memories shared with close friends and family that they may not want to be 'made public'. I think as long as you consider the people involved and ask them beforehand, or just review what you've written before posting it and asking yourself 'do I want others to know this about me' then it's fine! Love this outfit too, that blouse is gorgeous! x

    Summer, http://www.thetwinswardrobe.com


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