Last month I wrote a post called “What No One’s Talking About on Social Media”. For me, the main premise was “we compare our behind-the-scenes to everyone else’s highlight reel;” the reality that we can put one another on a pedestal and forget that everyone has personal challenges they’re navigating and not sharing openly.
Yet, many of the responses were not about how we consider this when it comes to others, but ourselves. The question I kept hearing was, “How do you know what is and isn’t appropriate to share?”
The conclusion I’ve come to is this: It’s appropriate to share when you’re being of service, not being self-serving.
When we go through a challenge there are three stages:
The Other Side: From here you can be a leader.
You’ve gone through a struggle & come out on the other side. Mara of A Blog About Love shares often about the painful end of her first marriage. Yet it’s years after the fact, when she is now in a deliriously happy marriage. If I had a friend going through a divorce, I’d encourage her to read Mara’s posts as they are full of hope about what’s to come.
In the Middle: From here you can create community.
Mara is presently struggling with infertility. She has chosen to openly share this part of her life, & I’m sure it is an immense blessing for women who are the only one of their friends going through that. Now they know someone else, can hear her talk in her posts, & in her comments talk to her & to one another.
At the Beginning: From here you are in need.
Therefore you need a close personal community around you. When Mara’s first marriage ended, a blog & social media were not the place to turn. You can’t be of help, because you need help. Everyone does at this point!
When I say at this stage we are “self-serving” that does not mean weak or self-absorbed. It means that you need your friends to serve you; to love you by showing up at your door with ice cream or texting that they’ll go Tanya Harding on that guy if you want them to.
When we share on social media and our blogs from the beginning, that vulnerability makes others uncomfortable. When we share from the middle or the other side, that vulnerability makes others feel connected.
It should also be said that you are never obligated to share. As a style blogger, your relationships, family, health and finances are not information your readers are entitled to. Sharing creates community and using your blog as a platform to do that can be wonderful! But you are always in control of what you put out, and no one should ever make you feel as though you signed up to be a Kardashian when you became a blogger. If you think I’m wrong, take a moment to think about what you know about sweet Blair of Atlantic-Pacific. Beyond her fabulous style, not much.
Sharing creates community and using your blog as a platform to do that can be wonderful! But you are always in control of what you put out, and no one should ever make you feel as though you signed up to be a Kardashian when you became a blogger.
You can be a Mara or a Blair. As a reader and acquaintance of both, I’m oh so grateful for what they share in their own ways. And I’m confident they both have “at the beginning moments” when they turn to their closest friends, instead of sharing it with me and the world on Twitter.
What are you still at the beginning of that you’re keeping sacred while you work through it? What are you on the other side of but have chosen not to share on your blog?
What personal experiences have you shared to create community or be a leader through your blog?
Visit Hilary Rushford on her blog The Dean Street Society
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