Why do people share their secrets?
The Instagram polls appear anonymous to everyone who sees them. There’s one exception. They are not anonymous to me. To take it one step further, any questions I post- also appear anonymous to followers-they are, however, not anonymous to me.
This is probably the most fascinating part of the blog.
Some of my followers know me, some of them don’t. So why do people share with me? I’m not a therapist*. I’m not a doctor. I’m not a clergy member. Why do they share in general?
My mother says it’s generational. We’re a generation of sharers. Our lives live online. Pictures and stories and videos. We have a nagging desire to post and post and post.
Are we trying to show off? Are we trying to connect? Are we lonely? Are we voyeurs?
Are we betraying our loved ones by sharing our secrets? Are we making ourselves more vulnerable?
It’s complicated. It’s something I think about often. Especially as I’ve personally distanced myself from the blog. I rarely share my opinions in the stories. I rarely choose topics.
For me, I’ve found that sometimes sharing can be somewhat selfish. It’s cathartic. It makes me feel less alone. It’s validating. Or it forces me to challenge my own assumptions. But it also has its setbacks. It can test relationships. Sharing secrets- reading other people’s secrets, can also make people insecure. It might lead to positive change. Or it might cause more harm than good.
This platform means the world to me. I know it helps people so much. But I also think it’s important to take a step back, and think about why you share what you share. How does it impact your relationships?
Does your partner know you share about them? Do your friends? Would they care if you did? I only say this because sometimes people dm me or tell me things, and I wonder- what’s the end goal? Why are you telling me this? I’m not a therapist. I’m just me. What’s the benefit of telling me that information?
And I also say this, because it’s something I think about as well. When I post a blog I think- how will this affect the people around me? I think I am hypersensitive to it, because I am less anonymous than everyone else. But I don’t know that it really matters at the end of the day.
I know- I might be setting a match to my own blog, but I think it’s really important to always be checking yourself. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of this page and forget how we are affecting those around us. But I think it’s a really important thing to do from time to time.
*If you need a therapist, Relief Resources can help link you with a qualified, top mental health professional! Visit https://reliefhelp.org for more information.