I often receive questions online and from reporters on how my husband feels about our lifestyle. For me, these questions fall under the same category as when people ask me why I don’t share as much about how hard it is being a stay-at-home-parent or when my children have emotions and reactions that I have a hard time dealing with.
It’s not that my husband doesn’t have opinions – obviously, he does.
It’s not that my kids do not have the same emotions and reactions, that can be difficult to cope with if I feel overwhelmed and tired (which of course I sometimes do – EVERY parent does).
It’s just that I don’t feel that these are mine to share.
I can share them from my own perspective, which of course always will include my family members to some degree. But I have to take their right to privacy under consideration.
My husband is not on SoMe – he doesn’t believe in them. He has no need for – or interest in sharing his life or thoughts with other people than the ones in his immediate inner circle. I respect that, and for this reason, I don’t bring his perspective on things into the work I do at Kulturkritisk Forum, other than the words, I just wrote down.
The same things go for our kids.
Of course our kids have ups and downs like every other being on the planet, but I don’t feel these are mine to share either.
I feel like they are not old enough to be included for their personal feelings in this online-sphere, because they don’t have the insights on what it could mean for them and who is reading/watching.
It is a constant balance trying to keep everyones’ perspective included, respecting everyones’ integrity and wishes and still communicating your message from your own point of view.
These are the limits that fit OUR family. Other people have other limits for sharing, and I respect and admire that. I don’t judge people on what they do – or don’t share. It’s not my place to judge, because I am not living their lives. I follow people on SoMe who share completely different things than I do – things that I would never share about myself or my family – because I admire them and find them capable and informed in their own lives, to the extend that they have made the decision to share what makes sense to them.
We all have different reasons for why we share what we do, which is why we share different things to different extends.
When SoMe are criticized for only showing a polished version of the truth/reality of a person, I think that often we should remind ourselves that this CAN be a healthy expression of someone being in touch with their own boundaries – as well as the boundaries of the people around them.
Only adressing certain parts of life on your account doesn’t mean that the other parts, that we ourselves experience in our own personal offline life (if there even is such a thing anymore), is being filtered away because we are trying to appear perfect.
It could be the reason.
Or it could also be that we are just protecting our privacy and the boundaries and rights of the people around us.
Being exposed to parts of someones life can seem intimidating to us, if we forget that it is just that: parts. The parts where the account-holder has something to share with everyone. What is being filtered away is being held private for some reason. Maybe that reason is consideration.