Are you sharing too much? Am I sharing too much? I mean a quick search of my name and you will find a Facebook page, a Twitter account, an Instagram account, and my personal blog. On all of them, you will find stories, details, and pictures of my family. Any number of people can, with only a little bit of research, know a lot about me. That, I have to admit, is more than a little scary.
Do I Share Too Much?
I worry that when my girls get older they are going to hate how much of their childhood was out there for others. I worry they will be embarrassed, or unhappy with me. I am afraid it will hurt them to have so much out in the open. We have all heard about how once something is on the internet we no longer own it. That is true. Once I send or post something I have no way of completely deleting it. It is on the world wide web for all of eternity. I am scared that something I share now will embarrass or annoy them 20 years from now.
So back to my question: am I sharing too much? My first instinct is yes. There is a lot of information out there. Especially with my writing the blog. I know a lot of other people in my position that go out of their way to avoid identifying their kids. They use nicknames or fake names. They only use stock photography and avoid anything that might identify their kids. I tried this for a while until it dawned on me that my name was still on it. Once they had my name they could find out any of that information.
Why Do You Share?
I share for a couple of reasons. One I’m proud. The internet has allowed me to brag about what my girls successes and commiserate with other parents on their failures. I want people to look at what I share and laugh at my experiences. For example, the time when I had to hunt for my daughters poop that she hid somewhere in my house. I want people to feel better about their mistakes, like when my wife accidentally introduced our 4-year-old to swearing. It always makes me feel better to know I am not alone, and that is what I want to offer to the next guy.
Sometimes, like in the case of my daughter’s brain tumor, I share so people don’t feel alone. I want them to see that we made it through. I want to share our happy ending. I want to provide a glimmer of hope when they really need it. Just to show that, yes, that thing can be beaten.
I like to think that much of what I do share is helps others. Please don’t misunderstand me. I am not claiming to be an expert at anything. I am not claiming to have any answers, or to write at a level that will inspire. I know this is all very presumptuous. I spend way too much time bringing up my mistakes to ever think I have anything profound to say. But in many cases, I have been there. When a parent encounters a situation I want them to know that they are not alone.
Should You Share?
Now, a couple years into my blog and after a little bit of thought, I want to change my answer. My new answer is no. I am not sharing too much. I like to think I am sharing more than just information. I am sharing my story. I control the narrative. Once I click that button, I know I can’t control it. But I can control what is posted, and there are things I want to share.Something to do while sitting on Facebook. But I like to think everything I wrote above is possible. I like to think that every once in a while I will write something that will help someone and that keeps me going.
I no longer worry the girls will hate my blog or the posts I share when they are older. In fact, I think they will love it. They will have a detailed record of their childhood. They will get to see some of their joys and many of my mistakes. Most of all they will get to see how much their mother and I love them. Because no matter what I write I always try to get that in there. If there is ever a time in the future I am not there, they can look back at what I wrote, and know, “Dad loved me, and he wanted everyone to know it.”
This post originally appeared on Bryan’s blog, Kzoodad.com