On social media and oversharing

09.07.2017

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about social media, and how much we all share online these days. Lately, I’ve been feeling the urge to step out of the social media game and enjoy life for what is truly is : precious moments that don’t necessarily need to be documented and shared online.

For the longest time, I was very private and only posted curated interiors on this blog. Then, I felt more comfortable sharing about myself and opened up more. I think I have found the right balance between home decor and general inspiration, and the “me” part here on the blog.

But lately, I’ve been feeling more and more uncomfortable with the amount of sharing I see online. It’s too much. It’s just all too much. I’ve noticed I started unfollowing some Instagramers, because of this oversharing trend. Do I want to see what they’re having for breakfast? Their steps as they walk in the street on their Instagram stories? The postal package they just received in the mail? – which, most of the time, happens to be a branded package so they can plug-in the latest beauty creams in the market.

French By Design

Don’t get me wrong, I like the idea of Instagram stories or Snapchat, it’s fun to see my Instagram’s favorite dogs in real action, their attitude, their expression, or the real life interior of a blogger I admire. But the oversharing and the ‘look at me, look at me’ trend is just too much for me. I think we are losing track of the essentials : be ourselves, live intentionally and stay authentic.

Of course, like many of my bloggers’ counterparts, my Instagram feed sometimes has some sponsored/ branded posts, but I refuse for the sake of business and branding to lose myself and overshare every single part of my life, myself and my family. It all starts to feel like a real-life Truman show, doesn’t it? I think keeping some parts private, away from the iPhone screen and from the public eye is the only way for me to stay in the game and to continue loving what I do everyday : sharing with you inspiring and honest content.

French By Design

Frankly, I don’t know where I am going from here, so I apologize if this post sounds like a big rant. I know that I don’t like what I’m seeing and where this whole social media world is heading. How do I react to it? How do I grow my business and continue doing what I love the most : blogging and sharing beautiful and inspiring content while keeping what’s sacred to me safe and away from the public eye? Lately, I’ve felt the need to take mini social media breaks where I don’t post for a few days, sort of a detox plan, and I feel that it’s been helping me focus on my real life, real emotions and on what really matters. Let’s see if this makes a difference for me in the long run.

French By Design

What do you think? Do you feel the same? Do you think we’re all oversharing on social media? I’d love to read your thoughts! Xo, Si-

 

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32 comments

  • Carole

    Thank you for opening the conversation, Si. I sometimes worry about what we teach our children in the way we share our private life on social media. I agree this is too much lately. Thank you for this honest post. C-

  • Allison

    I do social media on my terms–I seek to share beauty with those who seek beauty. I share minimally and in a curated way. My “real” job is separate, so sponsorsnip is not an issue for me. If this were my main gig, my approach would be different. Social media [often] inspires me and enriches my interaction with others

  • jenn from much to my delight

    Thank you! I thought I was the only one who thought this all felt like The Truman Show. I think back on family dinners growing up in the ’80s and try to imagine what it would have been like if my mom had taken photos of our meatloaf before we ate it. Sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? Why are we photographing and sharing all these mundane moments instead of just living them?

    • French By Design

      Hahaha, this made me laugh out loud – picturing our moms taking pictures of the meal when we were growing up! Thanks for good laugh @Jenn!

  • Dinorah

    Glad you wrote this!
    It’s refreshing to read posts like this and feel I’m not alone with these thoughts. Totally agree with you, Many people can’t realize how vapid their life is becoming with the oversharing. Whoever they’re gets squashed in between the iPhone, the screen, and the likes.

    Stepping away from the social media is a healthy move. I started to do this months ago after realizing how I was getting anxious with some accounts or contents which I felt were forcing me to question things that deep down I knew were irrelevant.

    Not that social media is bad per se, but like you said, it’s how addictive and manipulative it is becoming and how many cannot control it.

  • Velvet

    Gosh, I thought I was the only one! You see the thing is that I have a job and a life. I began blogging about a year ago on design because it’s a fun thing for me! And I was honestly shocked about the amount of “needless” information is circulating and reproduced on social media! (As a matter of fact, I didn’t bother with any of my social media accounts till I began blogging – lol).

    At some point I thought that this was hopeless because it seems to be the “trendy” thing to do, so I don’t stand a chance to be heard through all this media pollution… Can you believe that I was actually told by some readers to “cut down on the amount of info in your posts – we want to see more gossip, more you!!!” But like you, I didn’t sign up for this. I don’t want to expose my whole life for the sake of being trendy. I don’t need to. My life is for me to live.

    So yes, I totally agree with you Si. Honest, inspirational content with real value to it is the only way to see ourselves through this “trend storm!” My approach is “I like to be a VOICE not an ECHO” just as I wrote in an old post of mine. :)

    • French By Design

      Woah, I can’t believe people would ask you for this! I mean I get it that your readers want to connect more with you, but it has to be in your own terms. Thank you for sharing your point of view @Velvet!

  • Taste of France

    In trying to be “authentic,” too many people are just being exhibitionists. I am particularly revolted by use of one’s children to promote a brand. A friend and I talked about a blogger who puts her kids front and center. “She’s careful about what she posts,” my friend said. I decided to see how careful, and in 10 minutes I found her home address.
    At one time, bloggers were the ones who would give the honest product reviews, compared with magazines. Now, they flog stuff more brazenly than magazines ever did. I like to read things that will expand my mind or help with a challenge (cooking, decorating, renovating, DIY). The overly personal and the overly commercial I skip.
    Also: a small rant about the sometimes dangerously bad financial advice, especially on sites aimed at young women. Often it’s also tied to a product placement. Why do people who know nothing about finance feel emboldened to write about it? (Answer: they’re getting paid to by a sponsor.)

    • French By Design

      I agree, @Taste of France, especially when it comes to children. At the same time, I think it’s important not to bash bloggers for monetizing their blog. Blogging takes a lot of time, energy, and money and it’s only fair that bloggers get paid by brands to offer good content for free to their readers – as long as the content is organic and authentic…

  • Susanna

    What a great topic. As I am only blogging part time, something that is important to me is that the blog does not take over my life. I need to use it as a creative space and not as a must. An important principle for me is to not let the blog or instagram decide what I should do. I will not visit a nice cafe only for the nice intstapictures, I have to visit because I want to try our the place. I also think it is important to leave out things we experience that could be great material for the blog, but we do not need to share every time. For example focus on the conversations at the dinner party instead of trying to make a nice stiory on instagram. That said, I love blogs and social media! Have a nice day!

  • Suzi

    I do agree with you 100%. I also enjoy my chosen blogs to follow although as a yoga teacher I find Instagram in the yoga community very odd. Poses everywhere you. I don’t do that as I feel it totally unnatural!!!!
    We need balance.
    But thank you for your inspiring and beautiful blog, at the same time!!

  • Emma T

    The children is my biggest concern. Do they even know you can live without documenting everything?

    • French By Design

      That’s also a big concern of mine. I have two teenagers : one is allergic to social media, barely posting, the other one is a different game. I have to closely monitor what she shares, even if her profile is private – which we know never is fully private in the age of internet and hacking.
      Our children are watching and mimicking our behavior. If we spend our time documenting our vacations, family meals and taking selfies, how will our children learn the notion of privacy? This trend scares me, @Emma.

  • Mindy

    Si, I’ve read your blog for years and remember when it was curated photos and quotes. They were lovely and inspirational! I was surprised at one point to see you, your family and what your children looked like. I loved seeing your home and furnishings but really didn’t need to know that it was your home. I’m old school- a reader- but I love the visuals, too. Still, I don’t need to know anyone’s personal information and I’m often stunned by how much people put online, especially about their children. And then I read how they do this to be “authentic”! So we get birth stories, relationship stories, medical information! That’s not authentic. You share these things with your friends and loved ones, not strangers online. I hope you will keep sharing interiors and design. Your eye for beauty is impeccable. The only personal exception I ask is that you continue to feature Daisy. :)

    • French By Design

      Hahaha, thank you @Mindy! I will still appear once in a while or share personal pictures on the blog. I just want to do it in my own terms, and not to keep up with a trend. I just got back from a few days visiting my family on the East coast, and did not feel like sharing my every move or moment with my niece for example. I was too busy having fun and building memories. But do not worry, Daisy loves to pose for my camera, so you’ll get to see her once on a while here or on social media. Thank you for your kind words about my blog. Xx-

  • Nicole

    Oh how I love your blog, and the timing of your posts. This is so apt for me right now and thank you. I also have seen the escalation in oversharing and how narcissistic it’s all starting to feel. I read the most amazing book recently called ‘Happy’ by Derren Brown and he devotes an entire chapter to this exact topic. One insteresting point he makes is that before social media, we made friends, had relationships, lost and gained organically and naturally. Now, social media means that we feel tend to feel guilty unfriending, blocking or unfollowing people that wouldn’t ordinarily have stayed in our circle, and we end up unnaturally ‘connected’ to people that don’t really belong in our lives.
    A little off your own topic so I apologise, but I do think that over-sharing, over-following and over-friending takes away from the special, personal moments that happen when we switch off our phones.

    • French By Design

      Thank you so much @Nicole for the tip about the book, I will look it up. I couldn’t agree more with you regarding the whole online friendship trend as well. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  • Shalini

    Thank you Si, for sharing your thoughts, I agree with you that it seems the trends are carrying us with them and unless we pay attention, its very easy to loose one’s own path. I used to follow you on instagram for your pristine and curated interior images and promptly unfollowed you once I started seeing pictures of your teens, nothing wrong with your decisions but that’s not the reason I followed you for in the first place. Now that you have stopped to ask yourself that question, I need to go back and look for your posts on Instagram.
    Good luck with whatever you chose to decide, I think as long we are not flowing in someone else’s wake, we have a right to decide how much and how deep we want to share. I love reading about other people’s thought’s even if they are painful or deeply personal, I feel part of their journey but definitely don’t care for the food they ate or coffee they drank unless its meaningful to the conversation… Thanks for raising this topic on your blog.
    Hugs, Shalini

    • French By Design

      Thanks @Shalini for your comment. I do share occasionally pictures of myself or my family, or Miss Daisy on Instagram but never felt that I was oversharing. If you feel these occasional personal pictures to be uninspiring, I totally respect your unfollowing. Wishing you the best in your creative journey. Xx-

      • Shalini

        Thanks Si, for responding, I’m sorry. I must have taken note of your non curated interior pictures but never unfollowed you. Don’t know what I was thinking. And of course Ms. Daisy is part of the curated charm, I totally identify with her emotions specially on Monday mornings :-) Please don’t eliminate her from your feed.
        {{hugs}} Shalini

  • Susan

    Great Post! I recently deactivated my Facebook account because I felt more and more that I was presented with such a narrow view of my friends lives and personalities that I ended up wondering why the heck I was friends with them. I found that really sad, because I know that they are more than what’s being presented online, but it’s hard to see beyond what’s directly in front of you on your electronic device. When you interact with people in person, while yes, we all have personality traits or annoying habits that might not be our best faces, that’s not all we are. You just don’t get to see the whole person that exists, when you’re viewing them only thru a social media filter.

  • Melissa

    I couldn’t agree with you more! Social media is out of control! Thank you for posting about it! Maybe if there were a limit per day people would be more choosy about what they are sharing!

  • Desiree

    wonderful read, gosh it seems ages ago I posted a comment on your blog, receiving very few myself as well nowadays… After almost 10 years of blogging I still consider my blog as my baby where I share what I love. I use my social media to let my readers know that I shared another blog… maybe not as it is intended but I can’t be bothered to share a lot.

    Instastories I try to use only for working trips … I have a kind of love x hate with stories, sometimes I love to spent some time looking at the stories of the people I follow, but to be honest I can’t watch to long… it is just to much sometimes ….
    greetings from Amsterdam ;)

  • Suzanne

    I agree 100%. Loved this post!! Thank you.

  • Melissa

    Thank you so much for this post as well as your amazing blog. I was with an old friend this wknd and watched in horror as she posted, checked, updated every 2 minutes. I don’t understand where all of this self-obsessed behavior comes from, but I’m happy to be unplugged from all of the nonsense and simply enjoy your blog!

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