Usually, when posting on my blog, people react really well to posts like “Binge Worthy TV Shows” or “Places to Shop in Halifax,” but generally people react the best to personal posts. Like when I wrote about what it’s like to go from dating to roommates. Something that’s real and has been lived through and overcome. But I’ve found since I started writing that it’s easier for me to write about the more fun things, the easy pieces, then to get into the nitty-gritty, deep-down truths of my life.
I would love to be able to open up about many different things: what it’s like to deal with depression, staying in a job for the money, watching your dad develop Parkinson’s, dating someone with a higher sex count than you, how to deal with a jealous partner, the decision to not want children and how people treat you, opening up your relationship, admitting you have an addiction problem, etc. I’d love to be able to write about these things, but the internet isn’t always your friend.
Nowadays if you Google someone’s name, you’ll be able to find out a lot about them, especially if they’re not trying to hide anything. And I’m really not. When your goal is to grow your online presence through your Instagram and even a blog like myself, you don’t have private accounts, you literally open up your life to social media, to anyone that wants to follow you, and you should be prepared to be judged for it.
I’ve heard of people being denied jobs because of what was found out about them through social media, I’ve heard of family interventions being thrown because someone anonymously went on a podcast talking about their sex life, and it’s scary. To think you’ll be judged on literally just being yourself. If I write about anything to do with any sort of job, there’s always the chance an employer won’t like what has been written. I want to one day work as a paramedic and that means background checks and tough interviews. And yes, they will look up my social media, I mean they did when they let me into the schooling program, they even admitted it. I also know that I will have coworkers who will add me on social media and do I want them treating me differently because of what I’ve opened up about online? Definitely not, but I’m sure they will anyway.
I’m also from a small town, traditional family. When I was in high school I remember my grandmother calling me around Christmas asking me if I was “still dating that black boy.” Not that she’s racist (I mean she could be, I really don’t know), she’s just ignorant about the fact that you can’t say that. Not that most of my family uses the internet extensively, but all it takes is one. One whisper to spread through the grapevine and suddenly your family is giving you looks, gossiping about you, or just not talking to you at all. And there are certain things I wouldn’t want my family learning about me, especially not through the internet first, before they’ve heard it from me directly.
Plus sometimes what I’m writing about isn’t just about me, but the people in my life, too. And maybe they don’t want the private parts of their lives out there for just anyone to read about.
So you see my dilemma?
In this day and age, all you see about people on their social media is the best possible versions of themselves, or it’s curated to be only the parts of them that they want you to see. I want to be able to open up about any part of my life to anyone I meet because that’s the kind of person I am, honest and unapologetic about my life, why should I want to hide it? It’s 100% me and I shouldn’t lose a job over it or be shunned by my family for being myself, or even be worried about what other people think of me.
I’m hoping that in the near future I will be brave enough to write these kinds of articles about my personal life and not be afraid to be judged for who I am or what I’ve done. And, I’m hoping, that by sharing my own stories, people will be able to share theirs too. That we can all be a little less afraid to show our true selves, even if it is on the internet, in a day and age when your Instagram “has” to be perfect. Because guess what? No one is perfect. Even if their Instagram is. We all have flaws, we all have stories to tell. And each and every one of those flaws are beautiful, and each of those stories needs to be heard.