To Be Mysterious - Sharing Life Online

I've always been fascinated by people who appear... mysterious. You know, people who stand in the spotlight and yet manage to hide so much about themselves at the same time, letting their art speak for itself and not giving away too much about what happens behind closed doors.

I'm fascinated, and I truly admire them. The people who achieve this seem effortlessly cool, leaving little to no awkwardness in their traces. Knowing so little about them means that you can only focus on the god/goddess-like aura that they emit and I find myself wondering how it would feel to detach from a culture that is overwhelmed by information about people and their lives.

I don't think I'll ever know how it feels to be someone like that. I've been getting personal with the internet since I was 12 and that can never disappear; sharing myself online has become a natural part of my daily life and I can't really imagine it any other way. I'm not saying that's a good thing or a bad thing and I certainly believe it's important to think about what I post online before doing so. I try my best to, but when it comes to tweeting and commenting on people's Instagram photos I admit that the process happens naturally and I don't exactly analyse every imprint I make online. I reveal more and more about my identity and my life to the world as each day passes and it's easy, it's just something this generation does. On my YouTube channel that I created when I was 16, I tried to be as authentic as possible. Jump cuts and editing exists obviously but when I spoke I felt like I was speaking as me, and as a result the entire process of making videos became really therapeutic. A similar experience happens when it comes to writing, and things that sometimes don't get said in the heat of a moment can be put into words so freely when a pen or keyboard is in hand. It's safe to say that recording real moments and memories is irresistible for me, in whatever form that is. I love having hundreds of photos of the people who mean so much to me, videos that capture fun and sincerity, writing that describes what's going on in my head at certain times. I believe I have a healthy balance when it comes to recording my life and living it, but I'd be lying if I said that I didn't feel some sense of uncertainty when it comes to the questions: 'do I share too much online? Should I be more 'mysterious'?'

There definitely has to be boundaries in regards to sharing online, especially when it comes to people with impressionable audiences and sensitive issues such as mental health - often these boundaries have to be established ourselves. In terms of sharing you though - your authentic self, your likes and dislikes, your quirks, your hobbies and the way you see the world - whilst I admire those who keep a lot of this a mystery from the world wide web, I think we should also appreciate those who choose to share. I completely understand the importance of privacy, and I definitely think that when sharing your life online becomes a thing that you do, it can bring a lot of complications. Carrie Hope Fletcher talks a lot about how sharing online whilst in the public eye affects life in ways that are both positive and negative, but it just so happens that what she's passionate about (writing, vlogging, performing) involves an audience, and thus one-sided relationships are being built with hundreds of thousands of people. I think that these complications, however messy, shouldn't deter people away from being open online. There's also so much good that comes from sharing online, not just for the person sharing who may be getting satisfaction, a therapeutic experience or even a career, but for the people on the other side too. Raising awareness about a variety of issues is very necessary, and a lot to do with raising awareness comes from personal experiences. For example, I'd heard technical definitions of bisexuality in my life but it wasn't until I found LGBTQ+ content on YouTube describing personal experiences that I found myself being able to understand and relate, leading to me coming out and becoming the happiest I'd ever been. When people share online, we have accessible role models, and audiences are opened up to cultures and experiences that they may otherwise never have had an understanding of. There's also friendship! The amount of friendships and relationships that form online as a result of people's willingness to openly share is incredible, and whilst it's not for everybody, for some of us it's a massive part of our lives.

So, there are people who are mysterious, and that's great - they have my total respect and admiration. But I'm allowing myself to take pride in what I enjoy as well, which is sharing parts of my life online to whatever extent I feel comfortable with, for as long as I wish to. Many of my faults can be seen out there on the internet, like the way I sometimes talk too fast or say 'like' too much or mumble, and that's okay. I'm not a perfect person and I'm fine with the world knowing that. I'm a sharer (evidently, I mean, I have a blog under my name) and that's part of me, and I'm proud of it. Whether you're extremely private or have 50% of your life out there in daily vlogs and SnapChat videos, I don't really think it's for anyone to judge, as long as potentially dangerous lines aren't being crossed.

Whatever choices you make when it comes to being open online, just make sure that the choices are yours.


Until the next post,

Em x

Photographed by: Ellen Jones

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10 comments

  1. Hi Em, this is a great post! Sharing yourself online is a really tricky subject. I actually set up my blog to help me process everything that was going on in my head at a difficult time. I probably give away a lot more on my blog than I would tell my friends or reveal on social media. I would love to be a dark mysterious type too but I'm just not x

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    1. Thank you so much! It's true that a blog can feel like a safe, non-judgemental space to spill all our thoughts so I think it's understandable that some people give away more on their blogs than they do elsewhere :)

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  2. Awesome post on a tricky subject! There is such a fine line between being impersonal, being vulnerable, and crafting an image.

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  3. Hey Em! I agree, just do you! What I love about the social media, if used correctly, it is such a safe space. One can feel like themselves and share whatever they want to share about themselves. And also meet potential friends!! I started my blog to help me understand myself living in a new country. It has helped me personally. I feel like in certain topics I'm mysterious (my relationships, family, etc.) but about what bothers me or trying to remain positive I love to share.

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    1. Yeah you're right about how some aspects of our lives can remain completely private whilst other aspects we share a lot on! And I love how social media has introduced me to so many of my friends :) thank you for reading!

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  4. I get what you mean! I used to post online without much thought into my words, how they may be perceived, or if what I was posting should even be posted. As I've grown up, I put more thought into what I put out into the world while still trying to stay authentic.

    lifeslittlemusings.com

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    1. Me too! I cringe at some of things I used to write on social media in my early teens - thank you for reading :)

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  5. Yup I love sharing my daily life to the public but I never put too much of my emotions into my post so I still keep privacy for myself

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