Is Social Media All Song and Dance?

 

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages.

As You Like It Act 2, scene 7, 139–143

A few years ago my family took a vacation to Park City, Utah for the Christmas Holiday. If you know anything about me, it’s that I love Christmas almost as much as Buddy does in the movie Elf. On this particular trip, it was bloody cold. We’re talking 7 degrees. For us Southern California people, that was just stupid cold. Not only was it freezing, but there I was, in a tiny condo with my family and two dogs without a single Christmas decoration ~ not even a tree. It was hard to find the Christmas spirit that year, but I did my best.

I posted updates on our adventures: the kids sledding down an impromptu hill near the library, all of us snowmobiling, Alexzandra breaking speed barriers at the Olympic Training Center. On facebook, it looked like we were having the best vacation of all time. And we were. Except for the cold and lack of Christmas Spirit, but who wants to post cranky things like that for the world to read? Not me.

So I shouldn’t have been surprised when my sister told me our vacation seemed more romantic on facebook. I was. I took what she said personally as if she thought I was lying about how fabulous the trip was.

Then one day I was reading a blog or an article online that said all of social media is a performance. Whether we choose to post positive or negative comments, we are making an active decision to portray ourselves to the world in a certain way. We are, in effect, all actors upon the world’s stage.

Hmmm…

I fought the logic for a long time. I wasn’t just acting, was I? My posts were a valid representation of my life, weren’t they?

Yes and yes.

If Shakespeare was correct when he wrote those lines for Jacques to utter in As You Like It, then we are all actors and it just depends on the performance we’re giving at any given time whether or not it’s a comedy, drama, or tragedy.

For me, I prefer to keep my facebook and blog posts light and full of positivity. On Twitter I’ll pop in to update my tweeps about my writing or if there’s something special going on that day. I like to think of my social media experience as a gathering of my good friends around one big table and we’re all just hanging out having tea and cake. That doesn’t mean I don’t sometimes whine to my friends about my frustrations with revising the beast or the cost of gas (don’t even get me started on this one!), but mostly I like to hear what they’ve been up to and share only the good parts of my day.

I mean, really do you want to know what I had for breakfast or that I’m running around the house in my jammies. Okay, I do tweet that a lot, sorry.

The point is, whether we rant on facebook about an ex-girlfriend or a terrible publisher (you wouldn’t believe how many of these comments fly past my feed), or we only post pictures of cats saying funny things, we’re all acting. We’re saying, ‘Look at me! This is who I am today!’. So, yeah, my facebook updates only showcased the highlights of that trip. No one needed to know how depressed I was that it was Christmas and while I was surrounded by snow, I couldn’t ski down those gorgeous mountains because of my stupid surgery. And they definitely didn’t need to know that each time we got in the car to drive somewhere I was terrified that I’d lose control and kill my entire family.

If leaving out all the scary/negative things makes my facebook updates sound romantic, I’ll take it. So I guess in a way, my sister was paying me a huge compliment. Thanks, Sis!

What do you think? Are we all just acting on social media? Do you think even people who present themselves as ‘raw’ or ‘real’ are simply hiding behind their rants and quirks? I’d love to hear what you think about this topic!

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71 thoughts on “Is Social Media All Song and Dance?

  1. Wow! It sure is quiet around the blogosphere. I think many are on spring break!
    I totally agree with you and I try to put my best “face” forward whether it is online or in real life.
    Great post!

  2. I agree that for a lot of people, who they are on social media is somewhat of an act…and I don’t mean that in a negative, “they’re lying” sort of way. I just mean that they are giving you a specific image of who they are. A person who is cranky and complaining may only want you to know that side of them. They may not want to share their vulnerable side.

    I think everyone has to find a balance of how much of themselves they want to share, and in that way, they ARE acting.

    I’ve always felt I do that in real life as well, so I don’t think it is such a novel idea. Just more widespread 🙂

    • Exactly. It’s always so interesting to me to see what side some folks want to portray. I have a friend (in real life) who posts these negative, hurtful comments on facebook about his children’s mothers or his family and I just wonder why someone would want that out there in the universe, but for him it’s cathartic. Maybe he’s hurting and this is the only way he can reach out.

      I like what you said about not wanting to share a vulnerable side. Definitely.

      Thanks for stopping by Amber!

  3. Hmmm – food for thought. As our blogging community grows, I do notice a big difference between the blogs we read to inform us about our craft or other pertinent information and the blogs we follow for more personal reasons. We learn from these latter ones as well but, IMHO, in a different way because not only do we share information but in many cases we are also candidly open about how we are feeling as our lives are impacted by our writing. Tameri, you always put a fabulous positive spin on everything … even when you talk about something that sucks. Life should always be about finding the positive in whatever is going on and you are amazing at doing just that!

    • Why thank you, Patricia! I do try to find the positive because that’s what I want to put out there. There’s too much cruft and detritus in life already, I don’t need to clog the system with my rants and tirades. Not that I ever have them. 😉

      Your blog is a great mixture of both information and personal tidbits, which I love. And it’s always positive as well, which I also love. When my blog grows up, it wants to be more like yours. Love you, my sista.

  4. A thought provoking post Tameri. I’m pretty upbeat and positive in real life and that’s what I try to portray on my blog but I’m not certain about the people who are cranky and negative. I think on some level the negatives are that way in real life even when they try to hide the pain behind a joke. Or, maybe I’m just projecting what I do ( joke when I’m cranky) on them. Are they or aren’t they? That’s the question:) Yikes! I’m going to have to think about this!!!

    I think your sister gave you a big compliment too. You are a positive force in the blogging world.

    • I think you’re right, Kate. It would be so hard to portray a ‘persona’ online and then one in real life, or at least for me it would be hard. What I write on my blog is pretty much me in real life. My snarky trashy TV recaps are really how I talk sometimes. Of course, I think I’m hilarious, but some in my family *cough, my husband, cough* don’t. 😉 Thanks for the sweet compliment!

  5. Ooo…intriguing topic, Tameri. I’ll bite. I think for the most part, people are keeping it real online. I get that we all have to make choices on what we will and will not share…whether for safety, privacy concerns, feeling overexposed, etc. I agree with Amber that it is a real life balance as well. Most of us don’t go TMIing all over to strangers. In social media, we might be mostly interacting with friends, but really have no clue on who else is reading open tweets or blogs. I do hope any of my online peeps meeting me in real life see I’m the same only a little naughtier.

    That said, I have come across some bloggers where to me the tone feels too put on or the posts lack emotion. Some of this could be purposeful shenanigans (posers) or it could be growing pains. I know it took me a little while to get that writing about a struggle and how I felt would not turn off readers looking for constant happy. I think it helped people to see and understand more of me as a human and to get what might be then influencing my writing.

    • Barbara, you are totally the one lady I always want to take to a party. You would have everyone dancing and laughing all night. I love it when bloggers get emotional in their posts, it definitely makes them more real to me. Yeah, I like to stay positive, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to shy away from the tough stuff, too.

      A little naughtier? We definitely need to see more of that in your posts! 😉

  6. “Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
    Weep, and you weep alone.
    For the sad old earth must borrow it’s mirth,
    But has trouble enough of its own….”

    From Solitude by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

    Who I present in social media is who I am. The fact that there is more to me than that does not mean I am showing a false face. It means I know that we all have trouble enough on our own so I only share mine in limited measure.

    The funny thing to me is that Holmes and I are completely honest with our readership about who we are. Ironically, I come across people all the time who believe Holmes is my alter ego. Would that I could be that knowledgeable!

    But the bottom line is that I believe our social media interactions are our gift to the world, rather than a calculated taking or cry for attention. The world needs our positive energy. Thank you, Tameri, for yours. 🙂

    • That’s a perfect quote, Piper. The cool thing about social media is that we can weep with others, but who wants to do that everyday? It’s exhausting and I only have so much time in my day to devote to the crappy stuff.

      People really thing Holmes is you? That’s kind of funny since you two have very different writing voices. I agree about the knowledgeable thing ~ that guy is wicked smart. Then again, so are you so maybe he is your alter ego? Kidding!

      I totally agree that our interactions, in person or online, are a gift to the world. Personally, I like getting fun gifts. Thanks so much for stopping by and the sweet compliment. You’re pretty darn awesome yourself, Ms. Piper.

  7. I read this great study on social media authenticity and public perception. If I find the link, I’ll send it your way. It showed that people present themselves remarkably accurately. I’m sure some people misuse social media to hurt others, but as a whole, I bet we’re pretty darn close to who and what we seem.

    I’ve actually learned more about myself through social media. I write blog posts and read others’ comments then go, Oh yeah. That’s what I’m into. It’s like equal parts an extension of ourselves and an eye-opening mirror. Or maybe that’s just me. LOL Great post, Tameri!

    • I’d love to read that study. I think it would take way too much energy to be false all the time online, but I know some people do it (I’m thinking of Catie Rhodes’ post last week about the online love triangle). Like you, I’ve learned tons about myself from social media and I’m happy to say that even the not so good stuff turned out to be good in the end because I was able to see myself through a different filter and fix a few things. Thanks August!

  8. I’ve known for years that I am different people in different arenas. Only a very select few know the “real me” while the majority recognize me by the bling and punny-humor. *shrug* I think this is true for most of us, whether using social media or not. How I present myself (and am perceived) varies from family, church group, theater club, high school students, PTA, etc.

    The raw persona in emotionally healthy people likely is partially an act, yes. There ARE those who live life unfiltered and use hurtful comments, for example, to say they’re just being “honest” when IMO that’s an excuse to bully or otherwise manipulate (perhaps unconsciously).

    Even cats and dogs “filter” behavior, based on who is present. Otherwise I suspect they’d take our heads off–and some of us would lose our jobs by being too ‘honest” with the boss, ROTFL!

    Wow…you touched a nerve! I may re-read this and decide to delete/filter better, LOL!

    • Don’t delete or filter it, I think it’s a great response! That’s a great point you bring up about different groups in our lives and different personas for each group. We are like that a little bit with out blogs as well. This post is very different from my snarkier posts, but they’re both me. I’ve had people who knew me for fifteen years and never knew I had tattoos or that I can swear like a sailor sometimes. But online I keep a more modest profile because I never know who’s at the other end of the internet and what might offend or set someone off. I don’t shy from controversy, but there is an element of safety to be considered in this world of anonymity.

      That’s fascinating about animals. I never realized they might act in accordance to who they are around. I’m going to be watching them now to see how they behave with the guys vs. me.

      Thanks for your comment. It’s what makes social media so great ~ we can share all these differing ideas. 😉

  9. Hi Tameri,

    I rarely make a negative comment on Twitter or Faccebook, and if I do, I try to put a humorous spin on it. For me, it goes back to the saying that if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it. I had a friend tell me she unfriended all the “perfect” mothers she was friends with on Facebook. For her, it was more important to be friends with someone who was authentic rather than fake.

    • Yep, I totally get you, Traci. I also think too, the internet is forever and I might be angry now, but what happens in an hour when I don’t want to vent anymore? My comments are still out there. F.O.R.E.V.E.R. Like Prince says, ‘that’s a mighty long time’! 🙂

      Huh. Your friend is an interesting woman. I can see where having only ‘perfect’ moms commenting would be tedious because, let’s face it, there’s no such thing, but to unfriend them all sounds a bit extreme. Maybe what she needed was a chat room or message board for crazed mommies. I know I’ve needed one of those on occasion!

  10. I agree, we edit before we post anywhere therefore no one sees the full, raw story. But that’s alright. Sometimes they don’t want to see that and there are times they shouldn’t see it. But it’s also good to portray ourselves as human and less than perfect, because we are. We don’t want to make ourselves unapproachable or appear snobbish and I don’t think any of us have done that – at least, not in my opinion. I love your posts and the person you are, on-line and off.

    • Yep, yep, yep! Totally agree with you on all points (especially that last one. Hahaha!) We’ve been super lucky that our WANA family is so supportive and friendly. There isn’t one of them that I think of as mean, cranky, or fake, etc. We’re all very approachable and that comes through in our writing. Thank you so much for being such an amazing friend and so fabulous. Your posts are as rockin as you are, sweet lady!

  11. Hi, Tameri! Finally I can post comments (I’m using my twitter account to log in).
    This is an interesting discussion! I think most people highlight the positives. Some people have unfiltered online personas, but that’s how they probably are in real life too.
    I like to share mostly good news, because I don’t want to bring anyone down, but sometimes I let myself be vulnerable.
    And I noticed that many are much less shy online. I am one of the many. 🙂

    • I think it’s that vulnerability that people can relate to. Like Debra was saying, if we appear standoffish or snobby, who wants to be friends with that? But if we allow ourselves to show pain or conflict, then we are more human. Like your story about the trapeze ~ there was fear in that post and I related to you on a visceral level. That’s what drew me in to the story. Interesting that you say you’re less shy online… I think I’m actually more shy online than I am in person. Weird, huh?

  12. Interesting question. I do tend to only say positive thing in my social media circles, but I also do this in real life. It’s rare for me to bitch in real life, either. I learned long ago that life is best lived by focusing on the good things in life and I think social media is a perfect medium for helping us do that.

    • I think so, too. I used to have a really bad habit about bitching to anyone and everyone about anything. It was tiresome and I’m sure my friends were super sick of hearing me complaining. One day I finally heard myself and stopped. Since then, I’ve made a conscious effort to put out positive vibes and I like where it’s going. Like you said, life is best lived by focusing on the good things in life. The funny thing is, when you start focusing on the good things, suddenly the bad things don’t look too bad. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a great comment!

  13. Absolutely fantastic post Tameri! Though provoking.
    I would say that the persona I put out on Facebook, Twitter, and my blog is the real me (with less swearing – in real life, I swear like a sailor). Yes, do I post mostly the good stuff. Absolutely. But my life is 95% GREAT stuff so….sue me?!?! LOL! Do hubby and I sometimes fight – my god yes but why in lords’ name would I put that all over FB? It serves no one and only hurts hubby and I. I see others that lay all their dirty laundry out for the world to see and I think “why???” The world already has a lot of negativity flying around, I refuse to contribute to it. But in all sincereness, although I omit the rare and occasional bad mood or crankfest, I do think I portray myself pretty authentically. I really am that batty for sparkly things and pink. Hubby and I really are that insane when it comes to shock and awe fun. I really do have that much fun and laugh that loud. I really am that fun, fresh, and funny. At least I think so. LOL!
    Do I put my best foot forward, probably. Would I hesitate to fire any of you an email if I need a shoulder to cry not…not for a second. Would I blog about it – maybe if I thought someone else could benefit from my struggle. Does that mean I am hiding my “true” self – not in the slightest!
    FAB post darlin’!! WOWZERS!! LUV IT!!!
    Now I am off to check out these Christmas photos….sounds like my kind of fun!

    • Happy Birthday Gorgeous!!!

      Exactly! No one really wants to know what happens behind the curtain. At least, I don’t unless like you said, there’s something to be learned from it. If someone just wants to post a rant that doesn’t have a point, I don’t have time for it. If you post something that is heart felt and gut wrenching, but has a benefit to it, I’m all over it. Like your Friday posts. Those aren’t all sparkly pink and happy, happy, joy, joy, but I love them for the good they do.

      Or like my post about my mom. That was tough to post, but it served a purpose. Since then I’ve had people send me messages about their own relationships and it’s helped me see that I’m not alone and there are fabulous people out there who care about me (like you!). This social media journey has been one of the most awe inspiring trips I’ve ever been on and I don’t want to get off the merry-go-round yet. There’s just too darn much more fun to be had.

      And I’m so glad you really are that pink and sparkly because that’s what makes you uberawesomedeliciousness.;)

  14. Everything I post is me, but it’s not all of me. I enjoy being positive and upbeat because it’s what I am drawn to in real life too. I try to avoid my Debbie Downer side (I have one, just ask my husband lol).
    Your blog is one I’m drawn too–love reading your posts Tameri!

    • Thanks Coleen! I think that’s the thing about social media ~ is it even possible to post all of us? I don’t think so since we’re all amazing and fascinating humans with so many complex and convoluted parts to us. Your blog is also one I’m drawn to because of your positivity. It doesn’t matter if you’re blogging about meeting your husband or cool book covers, it’s always fun and a good read.

  15. My social networking persona is still a work in progress. I struggle when I think posting certain personal things will provide information others can use or find helpful in some way … versus good taste.

    I agree with Amy Shajai in that we present different sides in different situations. But usually, my goal is to give something to the readers and hope a readers blog visit is not a waste of their valuable time. I try to keep it short. I try to maintain integrity when I plug a blog by using the same criteria.

    • You have so much to offer, Marion! I know what you mean, though about posting topics with good taste. I had to delete about half of my porn post because it just went in a direction I wasn’t comfortable sharing. Was it hilarious? Yes! Was it necessary to the post? Not so much. It was one of those, ‘You had to be there’ kind of things. I’m still learning as well. We’re supposed to know what our ‘Brand’ is, but I’m all over the map with mine. It’ll happen for us, we just need to keep hanging in there.

  16. Hmm, I don’t have the answer, but I can certainly tell you I’m at the same place of questioning, something I explored – with much trepidation – on my blog lately. It’s about being authentic, versus knowing and respecting both your audience and your medium. I don’t think we have to share everything, everywhere. There’s a solid place for discretion and privacy on social media. That said, I’m still grappling…

    • I think it’s like Barbara said, we have to weigh information, quality, and personal safety with everything we post. How personal do we want to get? How much of ourselves are we willing to put out there for the world to see/know/judge? They’re all tough questions and I think the only right answer is: What you’re comfortable with. That’s going to differ for everyone.

      I will say, though… I totally wish I had your eye for art. Dang lady! You are so creative and can take the most amazing pictures. Okay, a bit off topic, but I just thought I’d share that. 😉

  17. Interesting discussion. I try to be authentic period. in person and on line. But that having been said, I don’t blog much about my day or my breakfast (LOL). My blog has morphed into something quite different than I intended but that’s who I am and it’s what I do, so it feels okay to me. I whine about things in different places (see August’s post about celiac’s disease for that), But I am generally pretty positive and I tend to work things through on my own, so there’s no need to post the grunge. But your question definitely has me thinking, Tameri. thanks for that…I think.

    • You’ve never whined! Your comments are always thought provoking, as are your posts. I love the direction your blog has taken and the fact that it feels good for you makes it even sweeter.

      I think what I came away from with this question is that it’s okay if we are actors on the social media stage because we might be performing, but we’re still ourselves. One facet of us that we choose to share with the world. Should you ever decide to blog about your breakfast, I’m willing to be there are celiac pals out there who would be delighted to know how you overcome your morning meal!

  18. Oh, Tameri, I adore you. I’ve seen your positive side in ACTION, and you are a force to be reckoned with (if you’ll forgive a cliche). I’m reading your post and thinking about all of my son’s friends on Facebook who are barfing up every thought and mood onto their status. Marcus and I have the conversation all the time (or maybe it’s just me monologuing), that once on the Internet, always on the Internet.

    I think I’m pretty much myself all the time, which means, not only do I think before I type, I think before I open my mouth. Do I have crappy days? Sure. Do I share them with the ‘Net? Yes, although I try to do it in a funny way because it de-crappifies my day to laugh. Do I have sadness? Sometimes. Do I share that? Yes, because I can usually get some support from my cyber-buddies.

    • And you’re also hilarious, so sharing your crappy day and sadness brightens our day because we get to laugh with you! I wish I had your gift for funny, but since I don’t I have to rely on my sparkly shoes and eyeliner.

      Those poor young things… all of their fabulous comments are going to come back and bite them in the butt one of these days. A little thought before you hit ‘enter’ is always a good thing.

      Love you too, my sweet friend! Cyber hugs are always available and even in-person ones if you need that, too.

  19. I come to your blog, Tameri, because whatever you say on a particular day is the authentic you. Being authentic doesn’t mean putting on an act, but sharing one real part of yourself.
    I grew up in the age of mother’s warning, “Don’t air your dirty laundry in public”. My Italian MIL used to say, “Put out the good dishes and the best you have for company. Tomorrow we’ll eat bread and onions.” Just another way of saying that people don’t have to know every intricate detail of your life. You’re not being phony. You’re putting on your ‘best face’ to make others comfortable.

    Who wants to hear someone whine and rant every time they open their mouths? Occasionally, we will rant or whine because we genuinely need a boost from our friends, but it isn’t the norm.

    So, a happy persona online doesn’t mean you’re denying your true self, only that you choose to show the positive side rather than the negative to keep your readers comfortable.
    Very thought-provoking post, my friend. Well done.

    • I love your MIL’s quote, Marcia. I completely agree with you on all counts. My mom used to say, ‘It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it’ and that’s very true with social media. Even crappy stuff can have a positive spin if you work it just right.

      Thank you so much for the great comment and all of your support.

  20. Hi Tameri!
    It’s all about boundaries. I think we know folks who use FB as a platform to vent. Some who reveal way too much personal information. Yee gads, did I really need to know that? We’re human. We have crap days, and I understand the need to let loose once in a while. I keep two separate FB pages, one for writing and another for family, but I know writers who use one account for both. And when they post questionable things that push the boundaries, I think…what if a prospective agent or editor saw that post? What would they think? That this person is a nut job or a perpetual whiner? I’m not keen on political rants either. It’s a major turnoff. My rule of thumb…if I’m not sure about it, I won’t post it. Hope you have a great week!

    • Hey Jennifer!

      It’s absolutely all about boundaries. I like to think of the golden rule and what goes around comes around. Me? I want good things to come back to me, but if someone wants to vent that’s their prerogative. They just need to understand the consequences of their actions. I see too many writers on FB ranting about one publisher or another and it always makes me sad. That publisher you’re dogging today just might be BFF’s with the publisher you want to work with tomorrow. Keep the karma good, that’s my motto.

      Thanks for popping in! I hope your week is super fabulous, too.

  21. Great post, Tameri! It does make you sit back and wonder for a bit. But I think, like so many others, that most of us portray who we really are online. I suspect most are like me though. We leave out some things. Like our outrage at the $75.00 we paid out to fill up the car, or keeping our political opinions to ourselves. I have friends I can call to complain about those things. That’s not to say I don’t have my moments, posting things I probably shouldn’t (particularly when I feel like I have to defend family and friends). That’s one advantage to writing under a different name, lol. 🙂

    • Ah, the protection of a nom de plume. Well done! Why didn’t I think of that? 😉

      Whenever someone tells me they write under a different name, I always wonder what the real name is and if it fits with who I think of them as a person. Like, I see your pic up there and you look like Kristy, but are you??? It’s one of the many dopey games I play to occupy my mind.

      You could be a Laura. Or maybe a Therese with an accent on the last e (I can’t figure out how to do that at the moment, bear with me). I’m going to be having loads of fun with today, I can tell!

  22. Well dang it – here I thought you were the party animal, the one to invite to every party because she’s so perky. Thanks for bursting that bubble, Tameri!

    But seriously, I don’t like it when people constantly whine or gripe on twitter or FB or where ever. I try to be honest, whether it’s good stuff or bad, but I try not to complain too much. My public image is at stake after all. I think honesty is the best policy, but spilling your guts on every little issue is not beoming.

    You just keep doing what you’re doing and let us live our lives vicariously through you. We don’t need to know the yucky stuff.

    Unless you need cheering up, in which case, say the word, and we’ll be there for you with silly anecdotes, encouragement, stupid cat videos, whatever.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    • Hahahaaa! Patricia you are too funny. Of course I would be perky at a party (especially if we take Barbara with us, she’s the dancing queen). Honesty is always the best way to go, even if it’s something hard to write. My posts and FB updates are definitely honest, but like you, I keep the whining to a minimum. I mean, really who wants to hear it? I don’t. If I want doom and gloom or ranting, I’ll turn on a news program where they’re yelling over each other.

      Thanks for being there for me! I would of course, return the favor if you ever need cheering up. I could do a little song and dance that would have you busting a gut in no time. Mostly because I can’t sing and my dancing is even worse. 😉

  23. Hey Tameri,
    I would agree with you 100 percent that we are putting forth a positive attitude – when “we” includes those who are so inclined.

    Obviously, there are tons of blogs out there that are moaning and groaning about moaning and groaning, but I, personally, don’t hang with peeps like that offline, so why would I bother online?

    My posts are full of self-deprecation and humor about life as a stay-at-home dad raising three boys (under five!) But I almost never post about the frustrations of how difficult it is, because any parent *knows* this. I want my blog to be a place where people come with an expectation of, like you, sitting around for a while, having a chat and a hug until next time.

    Anyway, there you go… that’s my twenty-two cents 🙂

    • Hey Mark!

      I totally get you. Who wants to read whiney, negative stuff? Not me! Your posts are like you, full of humor and fun. Three boys under five? You need a weekly massage and therapy session! Yikes. But you’re such a good daddy for being home with them and teaching them to be great young men.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  24. It’s like going to a cocktail party, I think. You are talking to people you may know only casually, and no one wants to be a Debbie Downer. The other stuff should be reserved for close friends who are invested in you as a human being.

    • That’s a great analogy. And you know what? I have met people at cocktail parties that share waaaaaaay too much info. I was definitely not invested in them and after all that info dump, wasn’t ever going to be! Yikes. Thanks for the great insight.

  25. Love the Shakespeare reference! Brilliant.

    I too don’t spread a lot of dire. It’s not being dishonest; it’s being selective. I have great peeps in my life (many of whom I know via blogging/twitter). When the going gets tough and I need their, I go to email/IM/Skype.

    • I can’t imagine you ever having a bad day. You’re just too much fun and positive. Aren’t our online friends the best? I love mine so much and I know they’ll be there no matter what. Kind of like my in person friends, but almost more so. Strange. Anyway! Thanks for hanging out with us, Leanne!

  26. Interesting post, Tameri. I heard a statistic on the radio the other day about how folks can get depressed reading fb statuses b/c people only put the good stuff, not the bad. I know that’s what I tend to do. But, I prefer to focus on the good. It’s just how I’m wired.

    Like in your example, I would have done the exact same thing because if I prefer to keep the raw truth for a select few. Like Amy said, even in real life we filter information. When my daughter is home from college over Christmas break and we have had some heated discussion, do I cough up that info when the elderly lady in church asks me if I’m enjoying having her home? Eh, no.

    LOL.

    • Really, people get depressed? Wow, I love going on FB because it is, for the most part, positive. I love seeing everyone trying to make the best of life and sharing the good stuff. Granted, there are a few who are obviously trying way too hard to be awesome, but they balance out the folks who are so depressing and post every single medical thing or argument. Ugh. Totally draining.

      Yeah, that nice lady really doesn’t want to know that our kids might drive us nuts. She probably just wants the happy happy of your life. But I’m here for you if you ever need to vent about it!

  27. I’m a couple days late, but I’m here!

    I think how we portray ourselves to the world has a lot to do with how we process emotion as well. For me, like the past couple of weeks when my family was going through some really tough stuff, I had to say something because it was affecting me so deeply that it was going to impact what I said on my blog, even if I didn’t say anything about the particular situations.

    For me, I want to be happy and positive and bubbly on social media all the time, but my life is not like that at all. I want people to see the real me (within reason – I don’t want to scare people and/or attract stalkers!), because I want them to connect with me and want to buy my books one day. I’m not going to talk about every argument my husband and I have, but I am going to let people be aware of huge setbacks I’m going through, because I want people to know that while life is tough, it is still so rewarding :).

  28. Hey Rebekah!

    I think how you handled it on your blog was perfect. You didn’t whine or complain or throw anyone under the bus, you were real and it came from your heat. That’s what makes social media special, we can reach out and touch people with our difficulties. I’m not going to post every argument my Hubs and I have either, but if we have a doozy that might help others in their relationship, then yeah. Negative can be powerful when used for good, don’t you think?

    Thanks for stopping by! I hope things settle down with you and your life gets more positive and bubbly, then you can finish your book and I can read it! Can’t wait for that day…

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  30. Social networks do give people the freedom to present themselves in whatever light they wish. Like you, I usually tend to write about the good things going on in life. Not many people want to read about people’s troubles and the negative stuff going on. I come to Twitter and to blogs for fun and freedom, to escape the daily grind of life.

  31. I certainly prefer positivity to rants and negativity. I like things that build up, not break down people.

    It’s particularly hard for me to get into any political discussions, based on the terrible state of politics on both sides.

    I don’t think you’re acting – we don’t choose to tell our friends our WHOLE lives in conversations, do we. So why would we do that on-line? Right??

    • I think that’s a great way to say it, MJ. Build up, not break down people. That’s exactly how I feel, too. Does that mean I’ll never post something sad, nope, but if I do, there will have to be a point to it or it’s just whining. 🙂 Thanks for popping in today, my friend.

  32. My husband can tell you that the me you hear from on my blog is the me he hangs out with every day, but I think there are certain parts of us that don’t need to be shown on social media, in the same way that we all share things with our best friend or mom or spouse that we don’t share with anyone else. Different relationships deserve different levels of intimacy. And that’s a very deliberate choice. Where to draw that line is different for everyone, and I don’t think that makes what we do post any less authentic.

    • Great point, Marcy! We can still be authentic even if we aren’t posting everything about us. Even if we do, actually, we’re still being authentic if that’s where our comfort level lies. Thanks for the comment!

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