Social media has opened so many literal and virtual doors, providing a whole range of positive social and psychological opportunities. It is widely acknowledged however that what we see on Facebook is generally snippets of a person’s best bits. The beautiful meal out with the family; not the arguments on the journey there or the screaming children. The exciting adventures of someone’s travel; not encapsulating their possible overwhelm, or loneliness.
Deciding to write a regular blog in order to raise awareness of chronic illness, resulted in my own reflection on how this might be perceived. How much do I feel comfortable sharing? And, will people think I am just looking for attention? The latter appears to be a very common obstacle towards people with chronic illnesses who do want to be more honest about the daily difficulties they really face.
So, I spoke to my friend, who has also been using social media more recently, about my dilemma. She asked me the best question she could have:
Is there anything so wrong with wanting a bit of attention?
Every time we interact with someone, face-to-face or online, we are in one way or another looking for attention. In fact, as social beings we need it, positive interactions with others, even if it is in the form of a like or comment on Facebook, can be very good for our overall emotional well-being.
Having a chronic illness can result in a great deal of isolation from the world. Not being able to work, go out with your friends and family, or even on many days leave the house at all.
So here’s what I say to myself and anyone else considering what to share or not share on social media, regarding a chronic illness or just everyday life.
Do what makes sense to you, what you feel comfortable doing. Be the authentic, amazing and unique individual you are.
Some people will gain a great deal from what you say, others may judge. after all, the world would be a very boring place if we were all the same.
Yes, it is important from time to time, to take a step back and think about why it is we are doing anything, such as me wanting to start blogging again. But the main thing is whatever decisions you make, as long as you have been respectful to others and to yourself, just be YOU!
If being YOU, means just sharing the book cover to your life, sharing chapters of just the good times, just the bad times, or perhaps a bit of both.… GO FOR IT!
(Here is hoping, I can follow my own advice :-))
To the next time…