Too much information: Is blogging our lives “over-sharing”?

Source: huffingtonpost.com

Source: huffingtonpost.com

My blog started off, in its earliest stages, as a place to post my poetry. As it continued to evolve, I tried new techniques. I wrote about current events, music, and movies. However, I left most of my true emotions out. My blog was positive, void of my personal feelings, thoughts, and experiences. I wrote what I thought people wanted to read.

Somewhere along the way, my blog became a safe place. A place for me to vent, to be honest, and to receive feedback from people who not only understood where I was coming from, but appreciated and related to what I wrote.

I felt less alone, and proud of my writing. Proud of my honesty. Proud that my blog was more bold than when I published that first post. My posts are real because I’m going through what I blog about currently. When I feel something, I blog it. I write it in the way I want. My blog has now become more personal than it’s ever been.

But is that bad? Are there topics that should be “off-limits”? Where do we draw the line?

Is my blog full of sunshine, rainbows, and roses? Not all the time. Is that bad? I don’t think so.

Am I satisfied with my writing when I publish my blog posts? Absolutely. I wouldn’t post them if I wasn’t.

I have read other bloggers who’ve written posts about past relationships, and I commend them for being honest and venting their true feelings. It’s my belief that writing is therapy. WordPress is a community, and I have gained so much happiness from voicing my thoughts to the blogging community and receiving support in return.

Is there such a thing as over-sharing? Probably. To me, I believe that over-sharing is when someone divulges too much information in an unnecessary way. But for me, if the information is shared in more artistic or creative ways, it’s not necessarily over-sharing.

I believe that blogging is a place to write about personal matters creatively. We can tell our stories, sharing as many details as we want, and gain feedback from others.

I’ve read beautifully-written blog posts, and many of them stand out in my mind because they were honest. Personal. These bloggers told their stories without holding back. Without fear. They were not ashamed of what they went through, and it made the writing that much easier to relate to.

Is that over-sharing? In my opinion, no.

Blogging has become one of my forms of therapy. I have gotten positive feedback from my more personal posts, and it gave me the confidence to be honest. To write about things on my mind. To express problems in our society. To write about topics that aren’t sunshine, rainbows, and roses. Breakups, for example.

Should these topics be off-limits? Should I feel free to write about breakups, counseling, politics, and feminism? Or are these topics “too much information”?

I believe that as writers, we should be free to express ourselves in a way that’s comfortable for us. If I feel comfortable sharing details of a breakup and actively want to blog about it, I should feel free to do so.

For me, sharing some details of my experiences has helped me to cope with those situations. If I felt that I was “over-sharing,” I wouldn’t have published those posts. Why should I be ashamed with what happened to me? I don’t think I should be. I’m writing posts because I feel inspired to write. That’s it. As a writer, it’s as simple as that. I don’t believe in stifling my creativity, censoring it, or “toning it down.” That defeats the purpose of blogging; at least for me, it would.

I believe that every blogger is different. We all have our comfort zones, our go-to blogging topics, our life stories. If we censored our writing, sticking to limited, approved topics that are “safe” from judgement, wouldn’t have stifle our growth as writers? Where is the fun in only writing within the confines of what’s safe, and probably boring?

WordPress is a diverse world. There are bloggers for just about every topic. If we all censored ourselves, we wouldn’t have the diversity that we do. As long as we’re comfortable with what we’re blogging, that’s what matters. I don’t write for other people, and I never have. I write for myself first, and if others read it, then that gives me more feedback and inspiration for blog posts I write in the future.

But I’m the only person I’m writing for.

Source: nikki-blevins.blogspot.com

Source: nikki-blevins.blogspot.com

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54 thoughts on “Too much information: Is blogging our lives “over-sharing”?

  1. I started my blog because I needed a distraction when someone very important to me moved avoid. It has been a form of therapy, a way for me to grow as a writer, an avenue for meeting new people, and just a source of fun. What I most like about my blog, though, is that I am the boss and I can write whatever I want whenever I want. My blog is whatever I need it to be. Sometimes, we just need a place like that.

  2. Thank you so much. This is just what I needed to hear. I just asked a form of this question on my blog the other day, when I wondered about even when writing fiction, if I include details from my own life is that crossing some sort of line?
    Also, a few days earlier I wrote about where I am with my love life, my recent heartbreak, and my work of trying to move on. Dating is one area I have held back on, for some reason.
    his post here just affirmed what I’ve been saying to myself. We must do what feels right for each of us. If it is helping, it is right. Being authentic is key.

    • You’re welcome! I’m so glad you could relate to the thoughts I had in this post. I’ll have to check out your post about this.

      I used to hold back about the topic of dating. Recently, it’s been one of the topics I write about most. I have felt like I need to write about it. I need to express the thoughts going on in my head. I feel comfortable writing about it, so I don’t think I need to hold back if I feel inspired by the topic.

      I totally agree that writing what feels right is the way to go. As long as it feels right, that’s what matters.

  3. You have hit on a topic that is near to the hearts of many who blog. Or perhaps it is important to those who are introspective. In some ways you and I started from opposite directions. I started blogging as a means to let things out of my system, knowing that only a few people would stumble across my writing. But then my wife stated telling people about my blog, and encouraged them to read it. That’s when I started self-censoring what I wrote and tried to write to a larger audience. That was a mistake. Now I’m somewhere in between, but the blog keeps gradually shifting focus. I think that it is in our nature to change, and that is good for us.

    When I first started reading your blog I wasn’t sure if it was something I would continue to follow. With your gradual change in focus, it has become a must read for me. I’m glad that I found it, and I hope you continue writing far into the future.

    • I agree that once more people start reading our blogs, we may feel the need to censor our writing. I think changes in the way we blog can be good. As we blog more, our writing continues to evolve.

      I’m so glad you enjoy reading my blog. That means a lot. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Yes! I so get that, self censorship, because people who know you are reading your words. I have two blogs for this very reason. One is for everyone, with my name, and another is for me… to be real, to sort through my thoughts, lay my heart out, and if anyone else can relate it is a double blessing.

      Why do we do that? Why do we censor? As if what we feel is offensive… it is matters of the heart and perspective.

      • That makes sense. Sometimes I wonder if I should have an anonymous blog. But then again, I feel like I would have to create another identity and change my writing style in order to do so. It would be kind of fun though.

      • I understand why you have two blogs, and I may give that a shot. For me, the self censorship was an easy decision. Some of my wife’s friends would read my posts and then go to her and ask didn’t it bother her that I wrote about something. I decide to save my wife from trying to explain why it didn’t bother her and then notice the head shakes from the corner of her eye. It seemed easier to modify my tone and to let a topic slide.
        Thanks for your comment.

      • Good point! Even though being anonymous would make me feel like I was “free” to say absolutely anything I wanted, I enjoy that people know my identity. I feel like it’s made my blog what it is right now.

  4. Honesty and authenticity will always shine through but yes I do believe that sometimes we can all over-share a bit. It’s not always easy to find that right balance.

  5. Personally, I like reading blogs that are full of people’s opinions and feelings, but I think it’s all up to the person writing the blog. Because I blog about makeup and beauty, most of my posts don’t show much of my deeper emotions. But I found that it’s a nice release every now and then to talk about deeper topics relating to beauty like self-esteem. I’ve gotten really nice feedback

    • I totally agree. I love reading blogs that have stories to tell. They’re interesting, and it’s great to read personal blogs that I can relate to. I think the great thing about blogging is that we can write about whatever we feel inspired to write. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Reflecting life, but telling the story constructivelyโ€”going outside of oneโ€™s comfort zone too far will probably hamper the quality of the writing. Sharing something too earlyโ€”that would be over-sharing.

    There will always be some degree of judgment, asโ€ฆI have to judge whether or not a blog is too much before I follow it.

    • That’s true–sharing too much too early on can be an example of over-sharing. I believe that once people have gained trust in their blogging audience (or with whatever form the person is sharing information), it can be okay to be more personal, as long as the details are shared in, as you say, a constructive way.

  7. thanks. Great read.
    For me, it is also a sort of therapeutic process. My haven, where I can speak freely – and all in all quite anonymously – about the ups and downs of living with AS.

  8. Love this!! Thoughts should be shared at the discretion of the creator – not the viewer. Writing and sharing our thoughts is SO important. Look forward to seeing more of your work! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thank you! I’m glad you appreciated it. ๐Ÿ™‚ I completely agree that the amount of details shared is the decision the writer has to make. I feel that I blog more effectively when I share some amount of personal detail. It makes my writing more authentic–at least I think so. I notice that when I read blogs, the more interesting and well-written blogs are those that include personal stories and details in which we can “get to know” the blogger in a sense.

  9. Thank you for enjoying my Back in the Day. Was it That Long Ago? blog. I like to write what people from different backgrounds can relate to and help in some way. And it’s nice to find other bloggers.

  10. As writers, we are not only permitted, but in a sense expected to be honest. This is the ‘glory’, if you can call it that, of being a journalist. We are journalists specialized in our own lives. For example, I specialize in a life of polyfidelity in America. Being ‘journalists’ almost eliminates the danger of “over-sharing”.

  11. “I believe that as writers, we should be free to express ourselves in a way thatโ€™s comfortable for us. If I feel comfortable sharing details of a breakup and actively want to blog about it, I should feel free to do so”. I agree with this statement which does, I think neatly encapsulate the point you are making. The only caveat I have is that people should consider carefuly before posting anything of a particularly personal nature. To rephrase an old proverb, “post in haste, repent at leisure”. As a blogger one needs to be as sure as is possible that one won’t regret having posted something particularly personal at a later date because, once out there on the internet it is impossible to delete with absolute certainty. Kevin

  12. loved it! That’s exactly what my blog is for as well. It’s therapeutic! You shouldn’t worry about what others thing is crossing the line, which I know you don’t ๐Ÿ™‚ you’re doing this for the right reasons: to express yourself and vent out some feelings. And that makes your writing very honest ๐Ÿ™‚

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