I read an interesting writers blog the other day which questioned how much of ourselves we should and should not put out there on social media sites. Here’s the link: http://www.brendamoguez.com/manic-modays/how-much-is-too-much-to-confess/
I’ve questioned myself numerous times over the past 10 months since I decided to make this writing career the next chapter in my life. In order to have a solid career in writing you need a following; a fan base; readers. Although I’m well-known in my town, I need more than the local peeps to build this base, so I’ve entered the social media realm.
I started with a website, then branched over to Facebook and Twitter. I’m LinkedIn and tumble on Tumblr. I pin on Pinterest and Googleplus myself into a frenzy. Keeping up with all these sites is a lot of work, and it got me to thinking: When is publicly divulging too much information about yourself, well, too much?
My blog has an About Me page that lists 10 things you may or may not know about me – or let’s face it – you may not even care to know about me! There are ten millions more things I could have listed on there, but didn’t. Things such as, I read every Agatha Christie book published before I was 12; I didn’t go on a date until I was 21 and didn’t know at the time he was married. Married! (The jerk!) I didn’t go to prom in high school because I was so fat and so unpopular, no one asked me. I started going gray at 16 because of a genetic link that causes premature graying. While this stuff may be interesting to the people who love me, is it really interesting to the general book buying public?
There are things about us which we all have that we really don’t want people to know about because they’re a little too revealing. And let’s face it: a little too close to deflating that precious ego we all have.
I’ve read twitterfeeds that detail everything the tweeter is doing, from going to work, to arriving, to getting a coffee, to the stomach cramps they have from not eating. And my question is always “Who the heck cares?” Who cares if I’m stuck in traffic? Who cares if I have a dentist appointment? Really, is this information ANYONE- except maybe a stalker – would want to know?
I tend to keep a lot of information close to the vest. That’s just me. I don’t need to know everything about a person when I meet them. I enjoy finding about them as the relationship progresses. And truly, isn’t there something written somewhere about how being mysterious is intriguing and beguiling? I certainly think that’s true.
So the question of when is too much personal info too much is just that: personal. We each decide how much or how little of ourselves we want “out there.”
For me, I prefer to divulge a little at a time, and give away nothing I would be embarrassed to get parroted back to me. Well, that one thing about dating the married man may have been too much to tell. But really, he was a jerk and we only went on two dates. That was one way too many in hindsight.