Ever since I was a young teen I’ve shared my life online. (Obviously within reason because who else was paranoid about everyone on the internet being a 50 year old man pretending to be a 13 year old girl so they could kidnap you??) Through various “blogs” (if you can even call some of them that), Myspace and Bebo (lest we forget) or more recently Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram and here on rhiannaolivia.com.
I’ve always been a sharer. I like to tell stories, be that stories of my life or stories other people have told me. (I also like to hear other people’s stories more than life itself, but that’s a whole other blog post).
But recently I’ve hit a crossroads where I’ve been wondering how much is too much?
If I’m 100% honest, I don’t think there is necessarily such thing as sharing too much. The thing with sharing your life online is, as long as you are in control of what, how much and when you share, you should decide what, how much and when you share it. I’ve had comments in the past that I share too much of mine and my boyfriend’s lives online because I weekly vlog my life (and because of that, part of Joe’s life, too). But who are you to tell me how much is too much?
I don’t share everything. I don’t share where I work (I don’t actually talk about work at all bar the very basics because I personally think it would be unprofessional of me), I don’t share much of my family, I always check if other people mind being filmed/talked about, I know when to share and when not to.
But when I do share moments of my life, be that through video or through words, I choose what and when.
I like to share the good parts of my life. I like to talk about when something goes well for me and I like to talk about when I do something I’m proud of.
But I also like to share the bad parts. The parts that make me human.
I talk extremely openly about my battles with mental health, weight, body confidence, general health etc etc. I like to film and write about the low parts of my life as much as the high parts because at the end of the day, it’s the combination of the two that make me, me.
I am the product of my experiences both good and bad and, being the person that I am, I couldn’t only share one and not the other because I wouldn’t feel like I was being honest about myself or my life.
You may have noticed I’ve taken a couple of weeks off weekly vlogging. I’ve uploaded a weekly vlog every week since December 1st 2015, so we’re over the 8 months mark now, and if I’m honest it started to take it’s toll. I absolutely love weekly vlogging and I love how much my viewers love watching them (even though there aren’t many of them compared to other creators), but a few weeks ago I just thought no. I can’t this week, I need to take a break and take my head out of the social media bubble for a couple of weeks.
It’s draining, having your life constantly online. And that’s coming from someone with a very small following in the grand scheme of things. I’ve always been a massive perfectionist, so when I put anything out there I want to be happy with it. This doesn’t mean everything has to be flawlessly lit with perfect grammar and amazing editing. It definitely doesn’t mean that it has to be of a certain calibre or that it has to be “as good as” other people’s content. It simply means I have to be happy with it.
We all know how honest I am. I like to think of myself as relatable and to me that means when you come to one of my many spaces on the internet, you feel like you’re talking to a friend. And when you’re talking to a friend, everything goes. Nothing is swept under the rug (within reason, obviously) and nothing is pre-editied or polished.
That is always and forever the experience I want you guys to have with me.
(That’s not to say I don’t like ‘aspirational’ anything. I like to think some of my content is aspirational, I like to think I can go both ways depending on the subject and the situation but whatevs that’s another story.)
But, due to the nature of my online presence, it means that I share a lot. I’m ALWAYS on Twitter, I post to Instagram at least once a day, I vlog every single day of my life, I write blog posts about my best and worst moments and on top of that I Snapchat (and now Instagram Stories what’s up with that??) the in-between bits that Twitter/Instagram/the blog/vlogs don’t see. It’s literally never ending.
And I love it. I really do. But sometimes I just need a breather.
I am 100% the nosiest person you could ever meet. I LOVE following people online on all their social media accounts so I can really feel like I’m a part of their day. I LOVE watching weekly vlogs so I can see how people spend their time. I LOVE getting lost in other people’s words on their blogs and websites.
And I think that’s why I love sharing so much – because I love it when other people share.
But there is a limit and there is a time where I think no. I need a break. So you may have noticed a lack of content over the last week (in terms of blog posts and YouTube videos – I don’t think I’d ever be quiet on social media) and this is why. Because as much as I am in love with sharing my life on the internet, sometimes it’s nice to not to. Sometimes it’s nice to just sit at home with my boyfriend, watch a film, order a takeaway and drink some wine without feeling like I have to film it. Sometimes it’s nice to live my life without feeling like I have to document every second of it.
I’ll be honest with you, I was only going to take one week off weekly vlogging. But when the week was over I felt like I wanted to quit altogether. I was tired, I was fed up and I was sad. And that wasn’t necessarily anything to do with the internet, it was just how I was feeling in general. I decided on taking another week off to properly recharge my batteries and remember why I love it so much and I’m already feeling refreshed and filled to the brim with content ideas.
I do believe that I will always and forever share my life in some form. I love doing it so much. I love the feeling I get when someone says they loved my writing/video/anything else. I love the feeling even more when my writing/videos/anything else strike a chord with another person and they tell me neither of us are alone like we once thought.
I will always, always share.
But, for now, the feeling of “I don’t have to” has been wonderful.
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