Today Facebook congratulated me on my 10 year anniversary on the social network.
Since being immersed in social media (both working in it at my previous agency and participating in it in real life), I’ve shared a lot of my life online. Even before social media was even a thing, I kept an online blog that I wrote in as if it were a diary of sorts. Being online is like second nature for me.
However, in recent years, I’ve noticed people have become too comfortable sharing everything from the most intimate details of their life to the most mundane. Why do we share our lives online? And why are some people prone to sharing while others aren’t?
A while ago, my friend and I were chatting about some of the things people shared on Facebook and how lame they were. She gave me an example about one friend who gushed about her husband taking out the garbage and cleaning up the kitchen all on his own. “What a great hubby! I’m the luckiest girl in the world! Love you babe!” and then the two proceeded to suck face via the Facebook comments. It was nauseating.
I thought it was funny that she was giving her husband a virtual trophy for doing what he should be doing anyway, which is sharing the responsibility over basic household chores.
Maybe there are things that just don’t need to be shared. These things are the moments that no one else is really supposed to witness. Not because it’s forbidden, but just because that’s what intimacy is.
For example, last night Craig had just come home from a long day at work. It was a Friday night and we were both looking forward to just relaxing the rest of the evening. After changing into his pajamas, he stood at the kitchen counter snacking on crackers and hummus. I had just washed my hands so they were freezing cold from the tap water, so I snuck up behind him and slid my cold hands up his shirt and around his torso, causing him to jump and dance while letting out a scream while his mouth was still filled with food. “Aaahhh! Aaahh! Aaaaahhh!” he shouted in a falsetto voice. It was the funniest sound I’d ever heard come out a human, so I kept tickling him with my cold hands and he kept dancing like a marionnette with crackers in his mouth.
When he finally wiggled out of my grasp, we were both doubled over in laughter at the pure silliness of it. I thought, “Man, if people saw us, they would probably be laughing at how dumb we are.”
It was then I realized that perhaps maybe we shared the lame and mundane things on Facebook because, although it may be meaningless to others, it makes us happy. We want to believe that we can make other people happy by sharing our joy, no matter what form it may be. Because once you know what it’s like to be in a relationship where you can stay true to yourself and be comfortable doing silly things with each other, you hope others can find that as well.