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9.2.15

Don't Tell the Internet

It's an odd world we live in now isn't it? With social media being such a big part of peoples lives. Facebook status updates, tweets, posting to Instagram and so on.
I'm one of those people. Social media is a big part of my life and sometimes I will look at my own Instagram profile and think "why did I post that?" or "who even cares?".
I have even posted a photo, then looked back and thought "this is no ones business" and have deleted it.
I'm completely excluding any mental health things I put on Instagram. Those I put on there for support, as a cry for help, as therapy. I wouldn't class myself as an over-sharer when it comes to that part of my life. Some might disagree, but it helps me and I would also like to think it helps others who are going through the same.

Other than that, yes I share things that really, if we took a step back, is a bit pointless. And I think this goes for everyone. I'm certainly not trying to be offensive or rude, but it's true isn't it?
The thing is, it is socially acceptable now to take a photo of your dinner and Instagram it. Or take a photo of what you are wearing that day. And it can be interesting.
I can never slate the internet or sharing on the internet because if it wasn't for the internet, social media and blogging I wouldn't have had the opportunities I have, and wouldn't have met some lovely people, especially my best friend (something I never expected the internet to bring me).

There is the argument of "what would you do if you didn't have the internet?". When it comes to buying things, in the past we didn't have these review websites to go on to check ratings or to be able to find recipes online. Or even choosing breakfast or which takeaway to have that night. Once upon a time we didn't have Twitter to go to and have however many people we could ask "What to have for tea tonight...Indian or Chinese?" We were able to make our own decisions.
We were able to see a friend and have a real full on catch up and have everything they say be brand new information, rather than an extended story of something you had already seen on their Facebook page.
But the fact of the matter is that we DO have the internet, so we are able to do all these things. We can check reviews, find recipes, ask people advice even if it is the simple choice of what we want for dinner or which colour cardigan we should buy.
At the same time we also have a choice. We choose what we share. We choose what we want to tell people. We choose what we want to keep private. We choose what kind of life we want people to think we have. We choose how much of our lives we want to share.
We also choose whose lives we want to follow, and how much if that we want to believe is real life.

I made a decision last year to cut back on what I share of the boys. To protect them but also to have that private piece of our lives.
I would like to think that I portray a realistic life and one that is the same as everyone else. Our house isn't perfect and oh-so-tidy. We don't have pretty displays of stuff everywhere. I tend to have a forgotten pile of sweepings somewhere. And my children are not always in co-ordinated clothes. Heck, sometimes they are in clothes that clash and can look a bit...well....not very put together at all.
My boys are also not perfectly behaved. And I'm ok with that. It's part of life and we have all tested boundaries before and so on. And I'm not afraid to share that part of our life either and would never want to portray this image of a perfect family life. However, the internet doesn't need to know about every naughty thing my children do.

Last week we booked a holiday. Immediately I wanted to shout about it due to excitement.
Where we are going, when we are going, the hotel. All of the information. I wanted to Instagram photos of me packing (why?!) and so on but this part of me, the rational side maybe?, stopped me and said "Don't tell the internet". Not so much for home safety, although of course this is one major reason for not telling people when you are away (we have good neighbours and my mum will be here everyday so nice try burglars), but more just because I don't see how it is relevant to anyone's lives? 
Do I want to be seen as bragging? No. Will me telling people when and where we are going change someones life? No.
It just feels like something I need to keep for us. In that old-skool "before the internet" kind of way where people didn't know everything about you.
I feel a bit like:
1. Who even cares? Not in an aggressive way. But really, who does?
2. Whose business it it? Again, not in an aggressive way.
We went to Disneyland Paris in December 2013. I didn't tell the internet until we got back, and even then I was quite vague with what I shared. Because it was our experience. It was our private family time. And sometimes, sharing these holidays can come across "review like" and....I don't want to paint over my family time as a review like experience.

Will I share about the holiday when I get back? Sure! Because to me that is like inviting a friend over for coffee and showing off the prints you received from Truprint after sending off your 35mm film and disposable cameras.
I've also made the choice to not take my phone on holiday. That will be staying at home.
Because sometimes we need a break from the internet and from the social media life.
And we need to be reminded of who is there if the internet was to completely break down, or if the internet didn't exist at all.