I’ll be honest with you (I can’t lie to you, I like you too much). I’m not much of a sharer.
I don’t mean this in an, ‘I’m going to eat all the biscuits and leave none for you,’ kind of way. You can have all the biscuits and all the crisps if you like, just don’t touch my Double Deckers.
I’m talking about sharing in a social media type way.
Oh yes – that old chestnut. You may or may not have read my post from a week or two ago (don’t worry if you didn’t – I know how busy you were that week).
It was all about my love/hate relationship with social media and how I feel that we all need to step away from the keyboard/tablet/phone from time to time and just be. I received a big reaction to this post and we were mostly in agreement. You need to find that ‘off’ button every now and then.
About a week ago, I heard a story on the radio reporting that psychologists had discovered that, ‘the need to be constantly available and respond 24/7 on social media accounts can cause depression, anxiety and decrease sleep quality for teenagers.’
Apart from winning my own personal award for, ’least surprising fact ever,’ it made me wonder how we’ve allowed this to happen because actually, this is the monster we’ve created.
We have developed this innate desire to share every tiny detail of our lives, possibly because it’s so easy to do. Click a button, load a photo, make a comment and you’re done. However and this however is the size of Mars by the way.
Sometimes there is nothing to share.
At least not for me.
I may win my own award for, ‘most boring life in the world,’ but my day mostly consists of school runs, chores, staring out of the window trying to think of something to write and writing. That’s it. When I set up the author pages for my Twitter and Facebook accounts, I was painfully aware that often I had nothing of interest to tweet or share.
That was part of the reason I started to blog and at the start of the year I set myself the challenge of writing a post a week. I have managed it so far, apart from one week during the Easter holidays when I had to resort to a photograph of a squirrel eating an ice-cream but then, it was a squirrel eating an ice-cream.
I haven’t met a person yet who doesn’t want to see that.
Still, I can’t help but feel that we sometimes put ourselves under too much pressure to share.
Twenty years ago if we had a piece of important information, we would have picked up the phone or even, dare I suggest it, written a letter. To one person.
Ten years ago, it was all about e-mail. Usually to one person but occasionally to a group.
Now it has to be done immediately, preferably in fewer than 140 characters and to the whole world. Invariably on at least three different platforms.
That is pressure.
I know this and you know this because we remember a time when this world didn’t exist. However, today’s teenagers with their snapchats, instagrams (I appreciate I sound like a doddery old dear here but I rather like it) and whatever else has been invented this week, are bearing the brunt. They have grown up with touch screens, are puzzled by CDs and don’t even know what a cassette is. It’s a brave new world but it’s an exhausting and pressured one too.
I also think that this generation of teenagers have the rawest deal. They are paving the way for my children and I’m grateful for that. The biggest question has to be, ‘do I need to share that?’ and moreover, ‘what will happen if I do?’ You see I get the feeling that people feel so pressured to have something to share or to be part of a discussion (not judging here, we all need to belong) that they create dramas or exaggerate and before long, they’re sharing opinions or images which will in all seriousness, haunt them for the rest of their lives.
For my part, I shall encourage my children to find the ‘off’ button and use their common sense when they’re sharing online. I think my rule is going to be, ‘never share anything that you wouldn’t share with Grandma.’ I know my children may rebel against me at some stage but they would never want to disappoint my Mum.
As for me, I expect I shall continue to have little to share and I’m fine with that. I won’t feel the pressure – there’s enough pictures of baby pandas and grumpy cats without me adding to them but just in case you did miss it…
Now that’s quite enough sharing for one day – who wants a biscuit?
14 thoughts on “Can I share something with you?”
I think I read that blog and left a comment.. Yep, some people have a strange idea about what interests the rest of us. Stuff like: I just wrote 34, thousand words…doesn’t interest me. Stuff like:Oh look, another 30 Five Star reviews for my wonderful novel ditto. Also ditto: pics of boobs, sideways selfies, your legs, your new boots, your ripped jeans showing your tanned legs from your holiday in Venice (I know who posts these pics ALL THE BLOODY TIME!!). On the other hand, pics of kittens or cake are always acceptible – not sure about squirrels….
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You did and you’re right, of course. Wouldn’t it be good to have a filter so you could get rid of all the stuff you didn’t want to see? It could be like one of those drop down tick box lists – THINGS NOT TO SHOW ME – holiday pictures apart from rainy camping trips where you’re looking damp & miserable, any exposed flesh, pictures of your dinner, THINGS TO SHOW ME – all baby animal pictures, the cake you’re going to bring round for me to eat, amusingly shaped vegetables. That should do it…
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I read this earlier when half asleep so had to go back and read it again. Such a great read, and what you say is so true. (Although I wish you hadn’t mentioned Double Deckers because we can’t get them over here and now I want one…)
Thanks Ruth & sorry to put the old ‘DD’s in your mind – if you start a petition to get them brought over, I’ll sign it! A woman should not have to live without them…
Love this! And I agree with everything you say (I’m not usually so amenable!)
Thank you & good to know I’m not alone!
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This is oh so true, and even though I’m not up with all the latest sharing apps and communities, I’m more than a little addicted to the ones that I do use. And yes, being unable to share or not having something to share can cause anxiety 😑 It’s a strange world we live in..
Isn’t it just? I guess being aware and taking a step back from time to time is a good idea but it can get a little all-consuming!
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Don’t I know it! 😑
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I have also been writing a weekly blog since January this year –
And good on you for doing the same. I might use the squirrel trick myself – DIFFERENT photo though! As I am running out of subjects, We’ve covered New Order, Little Boots, Swimming, writing, blogging (of course!), ambition, and the perils of eating yoghurt in public.
Keep it up – you’ve got a great, wry voice. One of the few blogs I actually like.
Thank you, Tom – I really appreciate that. I also see that we share the same ‘blog a week’ goal and I wish you luck, although of course the perils of eating yoghurt in public is a subject that deserves to be repeated at regular intervals. I similarly share your desire to see the re-instatement of the Lyons’ Corner houses but then I would, wouldn’t I? Look forward to reading more of your stuff.
The ironic thing is that this post is bound to get shared many times…
Very true! I’ve had a huge response but it’s probably largely due to that squirrel…
I do know what you mean – I often think, does anyone actually care that you’ve just finished editing, or hit your word count??? We’re always going to irritate/not be to the taste of someone somewhere, but I try to be of interest to at least SOME of my followers! Okay, now I’ll stand up as someone who uses Twitter a LOT. I like it, I enjoy it, I like entertaining people; posting a cartoon or joke that’s cracked me up, a beautiful picture, an interesting article, a review of a book I’ve loved. But then I was a user of social networks before self-publishing; I adored MySpace, which had huge possibilities for hilarious creativity (and I used them all), unliked the grey and tedious Facebook (if I see one more picture of someone’s kid or breakfast, or one more so-called profound comment with a background of a waterfall..).
I have never understood this ‘I have to write a post a week’ thing – so glad you’ve talked yourself out of it. You’re right, sometimes there is nothing to say. Particularly when I’m mid-novel, I can go 3/4 weeks without posting anything. Then I’ll be out shopping and something (like upselling – grrrr! – or early Christmas sales pushing) will make me think, I must write about that! I think I’m a natural communicator – way back then, I was forever writing letters, or daft articles for my friends (printed out and given to them, no internet links!)…. but some people are NOT. And you can’t make yourself be something that doesn’t come naturally.
I’ll shut up now!!
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