Two years ago my father left the haven of life. It's something I am still not entirely able to comprehend.
What I do know is that it has affected my life in the way I set priorities, make decisions, conduct work, and establish boundaries.
Of these, what's stood out to me recently is how I now set boundaries and priorities for my private life. Like many young entrepreneurs these days, I've felt the silent pressure to share my life online as the necessary way of projecting authenticity and being perceived as authentic. And mostly, this pressure has made such sharing an important and fulfilling part of my life.
Yet, in this world where online and offline blend more seamlessly every day, I've begun to notice that the process of sharing deserves more forethought and intentionality than I (and maybe you, too, sometimes) give it.
Why? Because some of these life moments and experiences simply belong to me, my family, and my close friends. They could never be successfully shared through online channels because they are so so so rich in nature.
Life phases such as the death of a loved one, the birth of a child, the engagement to a life partner, a sister’s departure into a new life, the struggles endured when pursuing dreams. These are so rich in nature, so abundant in emotions, so alive.
These are the moments we all feel most real, most vulnerable. These are the moments in the NOW, so truly authentic that they don't fit into a hashtag-littered 140-character world of timelines that my fingers scroll faster than my mind and heart can absorb. How ironic that we think in order to be "authentic" we have to put every private action on public display in real time. Do we ever consider what the cost to our attention in those moments actually is?
What does it mean when I'm addicted to the instant gratification gained from sharing my life with those who read tweets and status updates, but have not participated in my life for the past months or years? How sensation-oriented have we become if this is how we start to define friendship, success, or being alive?
In recognition of this, I have made the conscious heart-led decision to give my life a little more permission to be in the NOW, to give my little family more of me, to give my work more thinking space, to shake off the unconscious urge toward artificial authenticity and progress a lot of us feel.
By redefining privacy and how present I want to be on social media versus in my actual life, my goal has become to feel more than to share. And when I do share, I share deliberately.
To this end, taking a step back from oversharing has been quite liberating. And now I am more aware than ever how important it is to share in a way that maintains the power of vulnerability while focusing on offering meaningful and contextualized thoughts for the the reader. For me, people like James Clear are big inspirations in the world of sharing. His entire mission is to enable others to be better versions of themselves - His way of doing so is to is to push out high-value content without sharing his entire life. In fact, there is very little available on his site about his private life. In short, he and we all may aim to inspire through quality of thought, not quantity of self-presentation.
These are just a few thoughts - I am clearly also still in the process of what my style to share will be, what medium works best. I am hopeful that this could serve someone who has similar thoughts and will find it useful.