I’ve been thinking a lot about privacy over the past couple of weeks. I think everyone has what with recently-leaked nude photos of Jennifer Lawrence. I know there is a debate about whether this leak is a sex crime or a scandal, but by and large the people I’ve dialogued with are most concerned with privacy and the violation thereof.
What I’m about to say may be common sense to some, but I’m going to say it anyway. The internet is a public forum. Nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, posted on the internet is private. Blocking devices on social media sites are great at giving the illusion that we do have privacy, and all too often I see posts that reflect a sense of security in that. For the most part, our lives are probably not interesting enough to capture unwanted attention (at least, mine certainly isn’t), but still, everything you post to the internet (or a device connected to the internet) should be considered public.
Privacy is not something I am particularly well-acquainted with, in part because my boundaries in this area have been broken down since I was pretty young, and in part because I’m an open person. As a newly-published author (albeit not well-known), I have been considering the balance between private and public as I’ve developed my social media strategy.
Since the end of April, my focus has been and will continue to be on using social media to connect on a public level. I made a decision to develop content that relates to what I’m reading, writing, or learning in my walk with Christ. I made a decision not to write about my job search, relocation plans, or personal struggles – not because I don’t have people who care (I do! Thank you!), but because over the years my readership has expanded from people who know me personally to people who don’t.
With this expansion has come an increasing agreement with myself that I am under no obligation to talk about everything going on in my life on social media. Not because I have anything to hide, but because everything going on in my life is not everyone’s business.
I have written a number of personal things in the name of vulnerability. Vulnerability in spite of a number of family members and friends and mentors warning me that not everyone is worthy; to be wise about what I share, and with whom. I have argued that to love one must be vulnerable, that I should not be cynical and trust that God will take care of me even when people fail, that I have nothing to hide.
I still hold to these things, and I still intend to be vulnerable, trust God with my heart, and exercise integrity.
But I’m not talking about everything (not that I ever talked about everything, but I have certainly revealed more than most people would) here on my blog, or on Facebook, or on Twitter. No, personal conversations about deeply personal struggles and burdens are reserved for couches and café tables with family, friends, and people I’m getting to know.
I think that’s the best way to go (for me).
For now, my social media is dedicated to public information, which is only appropriate. If you’re interested in what I’m reading, what themes and issues I’m tackling in my writing, and how I’m working out my faith, you’re in the right place. If you want to talk about my personal life, let’s get coffee.