In today’s technological age, more and more people are taking to social media to share their stories. They use social media as a platform to raise awareness about eating disorders, mental illness, sexual assault, and so many other issues. Social media has been used by survivors to connect with and inspire others. I often use social media as a platform myself.
However, I choose to share these things about myself. I specifically elect which details to post and not to post. When someone shares a detail about their life, especially an intimate detail about something that they have struggled with, it is not appropriate to ask them for more details. Chances are they had a hard enough time posting the little detail that they have.
“Social media just makes more people nosy because everyone’s used to everyone sharing every detail about their life. It seems people are shocked when someone wants to maintain whatever little privacy they have left.”
It’s true that people share a great deal of their personal life online nowadays. It is important to understand that the decision of one to share a personal story is not an invitation to pry further.
“I think people think that disclosing personal info on the Internet at one’s own discretion is an invitation for questions whereas you were disclosing at your own pace and what you disclosed is what you’re comfortable with.”
It’s true that I share personal details on my Facebook. But when talking about things like my mental illness or eating disorder, I am very careful to use general language. I do this on purpose – this is what I am comfortable sharing. The rest, well, that’s for me to know. If you absolutely have to ask someone, at least do it in a private message. So will I share some details on social media? Sure. Will I share every single one? Not at all.
When someone makes a post with those kind of details, in a way they set a non-verbal boundary of the lines they are willing to cross. By publicly asking them to delve into the topic, you are pushing their boundaries and being invasive.
“[Person] posted what they felt needed to be shared. And nothing more. They chose the boundary of what they were okay with.”
I get it. I know that all of those vague posts on social media have you constantly itching to find out more. Truth be told, I’m guilty of this curiosity myself. However, I don’t comment on public posts asking for details. If it is someone I really care about, I might send them a private message, but otherwise I choose to let it be. Sometimes vague posts are made in a moment of emotion, later to be deleted. You never know what the person who made the post is dealing with, and it is more respectful to talk to them privately. The worst that could happen is that they decline to answer your question.
So yes, social media has become a platform to share our stories. But only if that is something we choose to do.
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