Nov 24, 2009  •  In Blogging, Facebook, Personal, Twitter, Web

On Oversharing, Part 2

As if the first time around wasn’t bad enough…

Lately I have been confronted by friends and family who asked me not to share so much online, FOR MY OWN GOOD.

The “inappropriateness” of my blog (and what I choose to share on Facebook and Twitter) was not only limited to the pregnancy and miscarriage, but extended to all aspects of my life. My relationship with J. My struggle with depression. So on and so forth.

I know that they are concerned on my behalf and only voicing their opinions because they care. But I could not help but be angered.

It may seem like I overshare, but believe me, there are A LOT worse things that I have chosen to censor. With every stroke of my keyboard that becomes public on the web, I am careful not to hurt or offend my friends and family.

“Sure, you may not be hurting us directly. But can’t you see that when you hurt, we hurt?”

This is a valid argument. However, please be assured that I am perfectly capable of taking care of myself. If anything, blogging is therapeutic and helps me get through those rough patches.

As for my future children reading this blog? I want them to read it! I want to them see what their mom was like, how she lived her life, and what the world was like through her eyes. Will they be embarassed or ashamed of me? That is a possibility, yes. But what child isn’t at one point in their lives? I would rather that they know the full, real ME.

Perhaps wearing my emotions on my sleeve for all to gawk at is a reaction to having been raised in a culture where showing only your best face to the public is held in such importance. My parents hardly talk about their lives, and even now, they choose to keep things from me and my sister. Do you know how sad it is to feel like you do not know your own mother and father?

This blog has not reached a status to have started receiving hatemail. However, whenever I get good feedback the following four words are always included:

“I love your honesty.”

You know what? I love my honesty too. Sometimes it can come across as being blunt. Something my candor can seem offensive, or even inappropriate. But if I can’t be honest to myself (because this blog is an extension of myself), who can I be honest to?

24 Responses to “On Oversharing, Part 2”

  1. Rachael:

    Jenny, reading this took on another life-form for me. It was like I wrote those same exact words to myself discussing how much I love the honest, sometimes inappropriate, me. But, people always know what they are getting with me. Honest, genuine. Thanks for sharing and exposing yourself. In my opinion, it’s the only we can truly make lasting connections and relationships with people. I can never live in a world where it would be unacceptable for me to be me or you to be you. :)

  2. Jen:

    Any blogger who only presents a perfect face to the world is a BORING blogger. Also snooty, a stuck-up blogger. You are one of my favorites because you share. I LOVE YOUR HONESTY. :-)

    Parents are annoying, huh? I recently had a conversation with my mom where I had to tell her that no one expects her (or me) to be perfect (except, of course, for her). I’d rather have people know a little bit more about me than just observe the perfect, fake mask I put forward. I’m not sure why my parents don’t understand that I’ve been successful and happy despite my distinct lack of perfection. I am also with you on the "not knowing my parents" thing. My mom never shares.

  3. I think it’s all nonsense, but I come from a family where we’re pretty open. I enjoy your honesty and I’m enamored of your blog, and I hope you don’t change a thing.

  4. Vir:

    Eh, it’s your blog. You make it what you want it to be… no more, no less. If it makes people uncomfortable they don’t have to read it!

    I myself am not as open as you on my blog, admittedly, as I’ve commented on another post, but I’d never judge someone for making different choices in their own blogging style.

    Keep being yourself — that’s why we read your blog.

  5. sally:

    i love your honesty too… and i read it because you are REAL unlike some blogs where they paint a picture of martha stewartness/stepford wife which is so unrealistic of what married life is like. keep doing what you are doing and being you because that’s why real people read your blog. :)

  6. I love reading your honesty, especially to the topic of the miscarriage. Although I have never been through a miscarriage myself, but the honesty certain shows a perspective which I can appreciate. I’m sure there is a lot of comfort in that for some readers. Continue on what you’re doing, esp if it helps you deal with the issues.

  7. Hi, I just found your blog, so I have a lot of catching up to do but I just wanted to say that I appreciate your honesty & openness. Reading personal blogs, especially those that are open helps people in their own lives, makes them feel that they are not alone in their thinking. A blog is an expression of a person and everyone should be allowed to say what they want, after all it’s their personal blog. Thank you for taking the time to write to us :-)

  8. Nadine:

    I love your openess and willingness to share! I continue to read your blog because it’s "real". You being you makes your blog something that I want to read. I don’t want to read about peoples perfect lives, and it’s nice to know that I’m not the only one who had a miscarriage this year, and I wasn’t the only one who openly shared it. My due date was last week…. and it was the HARDEST day of my life so far.

  9. Nikkole:

    The only person you have to please with this blog is you. If someone is uncomfortable reading it, they should stop. I love this blog so much! Your honesty is refreshing, thank you.

  10. Your honesty is refreshing and your kids would be proud. Anyone who has ever gone through therapy will agree, honesty is healthy. I’m saying this because I’m Asian, but I think the worst offenders are traditional Asian families when it comes to fronting like everything is perfect. We just have such shame-based cultures that raise us to hide everything negative. So unhealthy.

    Also, I think that anyone who says, "you may not be hurting us directly. But can’t you see that when you hurt, we hurt?" is ultimately being selfish. If it makes them so uncomfortable, stop reading, yo!

    Keep on keepin’ on. :) I love reading.

  11. R:

    Argh! Posts like this make me jump up and down angry. Not with you! But with the people that make you feel that you need to write a post like this. That is two blogs that I really enjoy in the same week having (a) introduced comment moderation because of internet trolls and (b) considered moderating themself. There are millions of blogs out there, really if this one or any other blog is not suiting you then find one that does. Because I can pretty much guarantee that if this blog changes, I and others will create much more of a stink about it than those with the negativity. I’m here because I enjoy reading what you write – if I ever stop enjoying it (can’t imagine this happening) I will leave quietly.

  12. I have very mixed feelings regarding this issue. On one hand, I absolutely believe in opening up and sharing the good, the bad, the ugly. But I’ve also learned (when it comes to myself) that there are some details of my life where it helps to be more selective in whom I share with. There are details I share in person with friends and family that most others would consider oversharing and taboo/ inappropriate. But there are also many details I would never feel comfortable sharing on a public medium accessible by anyone and everyone.

    These are all personal preferences of mine, certainly not guidelines for you or anyone else for that matter. You’ve decided to embrace honesty and openness, which is great… if that’s what you’re comfortable with. What I find confusing is that you’ve embraced your own honesty.. but not the honesty of your friends. I feel like you’re vilifying the very friends who are adopting your philosophy of complete uncensored honesty.

  13. Exactly why most of my friends and family don’t know about my blog, or even my time with WB. They’d say exactly what you started this post with…. and I don’t know that I can handle it. When I first started blogging 6 years ago, I shared it with everyone and I shared a lot and strangers were so kind and wonderful, but many friends/family were shitty and mean and critical about it. Some people even said they didn’t like my online "persona," it’s so "not me" and wouldn’t believe me when I suggested that reading the blog would probabyl teach them a lot ABOUT me if they were interested. Ugh. Frustrating.

  14. Geek in Heels:

    Thanks for your comments, everyone!

    @Sherry — I can see your point about my seeming to vilify those who are sharing their opinion with me. However, what really got me angry was not the fact that they were concerned, but the fact that they seemed to be ashamed of what I chose to share, and treated me like a child when approaching me about it. Are they ashamed/embarrassed of me?

    Now I admit that there have been instances where I become embarrassed of things that my parents do/say in public, but these were things like speaking too loudly with broken English, etc when I was younger and didn’t know better. I was never ashamed of the people that they are….I am always proud of my family and friends, even with their faults — heck even BECAUSE of their faults. To have people I trust and love shush me and tell me, "Shh, don’t say things like that. It’s inappropriate." is hurtful, because I would never censor them like that.

    Again, this is just me and my two cents…

  15. I love, love, love your honesty. Your blog and your "voice" is who you are and you shouldn’t be embarresed to put it out there. I think sometimes criticism comes because people are uncomfortable with a certain topic. Maybe they just don’t know what to say and instead react with disgust because they feel a reaction is necessary. I may not relate to everything you have said on your blog, but there have been times when I can relate- and it’s nice to know I’m not the only one.

  16. gigi:

    We who struggle with the ideals and pressures of what marriage and families are supposed to be, need honesty like this. We need to see that we’re not the only ones trying to get through life the best we can, and aren’t always perfect.

    My best friend suffered through a heartbreaking miscarriage earlier this year. So many in her family, and our families, and friends had gone through this horrible experience, but are not ‘allowed’ to talk about it. So she felt like she had to shut off her pain, put on a happy front, for fear of making others uncomfortable, even to those who had experienced the same thing years before.

    When you’re greiving, you shouldn’t have to ‘shut off’. Thank you for sharing your life with those of us who are stil trying to figure things out.

  17. I applaud you saying what you think/feel/do/want. I’ve been reading your blog since your xanga days (I wish I could remember where I found your link) and think it’s so awesome that you’re willing to share yourself with the world. Thanks for being you, and happy Thanksgiving! :-D

  18. Love the post. I’ve had the pleasure of enduring similar adversity before, but peeps just don’t understand the need to unleash and to describe what it is you’re feeling, or anything remotely resembling truthfulness or your take of that truth.

  19. On the contrary, I admire your courage in putting yourself out there!

    I would never feel comfortable with any of my family reading anything I wrote. No doubt they would say pretty similar to what yours have told you…

  20. I LOVE YOUR HONESTY!!!! that’s why I read you :) those people can suck it, they have no reason to act ashamed of you! fools.

  21. Since I was one of the original voices of dissent, I’ll speak up again.

    First, I can’t speak for your other friends, but I’m not ashamed or embarrassed of you or for you. My comment comes from a very protective place. The idea that the Internet can never be erased. In my line of work, I deal with reports from private investigators all the time, complete with material that the investigator has collected from the web. Just imagine, if somewhere down the road, there was a lawsuit. Everything on this page would be fair game for that law suit.

    Second, don’t confuse honesty with openess. That’s what you’re doing here. The issue isn’t honesty (heck, my blog is honest), it’s more about how open you are. Yes, being open is good. Being open can help you with others. But just remember, it leaves you vulnerable to others who just lurk.

  22. Maybe some of those people mean well, and maybe some of them are just plain trolls. Either way, both types are flying off the handle. I’m truly shocked that this is how people respond to your blog. I for one love it, and will continue to read your blog with great joy.

  23. Jisoo:

    I commend you for being courageous to write so honestly. I also miscarried at 5 weeks and have blogged about it. It indeed was therapeutic at the time. However, I did end up hiding that particular post later because I found out some people from work started to read my blog. I prefer to keep my work and personal life separate so it was a decision I made. But as a woman to woman who has experienced this, keep your head up high. Do whatever helps you. We will be OK.

  24. HamiHarri:

    I LOVE your blog…when I’m away from it and return after a few days you get me thinking…thinking about my life, tough topics as well as fun silly things. As long as you keep blogging, I’ll be here reading :)

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