I’ve always been a secretive person.
Secretive blogger is not an oxymoron. Nope. You can be a blogger, a personal blogger, and not have to live a life that is an open book. Now, I consider myself a transparent person — I’ve been told that a number of times before — but that only means I’m transparent in the things I choose to share.
Even pre-social media, I’ve never been the type of person who is comfortable sharing all of her secrets. Only a few people know my crushes, my relationships, my most important experiences, my mess. Only a select group of people knows about the things we undergo as a family; only a handful knew about my father’s stroke 9 years back, only a handful knew about my brother’s accident 5 years back, and only a handful knows that my father’s undergoing dialysis now.
This is a personal motto that I’ve always gone by:
The things I value the most are the things I keep to myself.
So when social media came and became the norm, I just unknowingly brought that kind of thinking with me. There are just some things not meant to be shared to the general public. Thank goodness for blogs and privacy settings.
I’ve been bothered by other people’s lack of privacy-consciousness; there are still so many people without any qualms airing their dirty linen in public insisting that they have a right to write anything they want because they have freedom of speech.
And I’m not talking about just dirty linen. I don’t really want to read your sweet exchanges with your lover on my feed — there’s Facebook messenger for that. I don’t really need to know every single thing happening in your life. Sometimes, I think I know more about what is happening to a certain person I don’t really know on Facebook than what is happening to my own siblings.
This is not meant to be an attack against people who love sharing their lives on Facebook. I’m a blogger; I know how fun it is to document stuff. But there is also such a thing called oversharing. What if your boyfriend or girlfriend doesn’t want the world to know the gory details of your relationship? What if that “harmless” picture of your child actually violates his privacy? What if your “freedom of speech” can actually get you charged with online libel?
I thought concern over privacy was losing its popularity, so when I chanced upon this picture, I breathed a sigh of relief. Privacy, in the age of social media, still exists.
I’m more comfortable sharing my thoughts in my own blog because at least I’m not forcing people to read details of my life against their will. At least that’s what I think. I mean, there’s a huge difference between consciously clicking on a person’s blog — you expect to read what they wrote — and writing a novella describing what’s going on in your life as a status update knowing that it will appear on your Facebook friends’ timelines against their will.
There is someone on my Facebook friends list who consistently shares the ups and downs of his relationships. Everyone would be in-the-know regarding their LQs, and he would share status messages trash-talking his current girlfriend. Then, the next day, they’d be okay. They may be okay, but I don’t know how he could ever get those words back.
There is also someone on my friends list who once declared, proudly, that another person’s full wage was just her tax deduction. Now, her high salary is inversely proportional to the amount of respect people have for her.
There is also someone not on my friends list — much to my relief — who always shares almost-naked pictures. Aside from that, she would write lengthy status messages destroying other people’s reputations. I hope she finds out that she can serve 8 years in jail for online libel.
These are pretty much the basic stuff that can’t be shared. Love life? Please, keep it to yourself. There’s nothing wrong with sharing pictures online, but please, spare us the details. The only people who need to know the ins-and-outs of your relationship is, guess who, you.
Income? We don’t care. And don’t be a douche. Period.
Next move? It’s a personal thing. Keeping my plans a secret is already second nature for me, but if you are more comfortable sharing them and claiming them publicly, go ahead. In my opinion, it’s not really offensive to read about other people’s plans (though it can be to their disadvantage).
And the rest? The trash talking, dirty linen, and the stories that other people entrusted to you for you to keep secret, they have no place in your social media profile. Take a good look at your friends list. Look at the ones you barely know at all. Do you want them knowing these details about your life? No? Then don’t share.
Again, there are things you need to keep to yourself.