Hi, my name’s Kemi and I share my life online.
Recently I’ve been working on a ton of briefing notes which has meant that I’ve been Google’ing a load of new faces. Just for the fun of it I decided to see what the outcome would be if I just Googled myself – I pretty much found what I expected – on Images a few Insta photos and on the main page a bunch of my social media links, this blog and actually in the #1 spot – my LinkedIn account; but it was interesting to see nonetheless what would pop up if someone else one day decided to do a cheeky Google. That got me thinking about my overall presence online – I’m a blogger (of course), which means I share a good amount of my life online. Not just in the fact that I post many photos on my social media accounts, but also the fact that I generally do sit down, write, and share stories about what I am/have gone through over time.
Sharing your life online has both good and very bad implications…
For one, you always have to be cautious of how much you share. A good example of this is the fact that the other day I was eating at a pretty small restaurant around the corner from where I live and I wanted to post it on Instagram stories, but once I tagged the location, I suddenly became very cautious about who could be viewing my story. Especially because whilst I know that whilst I have mostly lovely followers on social media (a good majority also bloggers that I already follow myself or people that I know offline), there are also a few not so lovely randoms that lead to a building blocked list…
Which flows straight through to number two – with everything so public, and every social account accessible, you open yourself up to a few strange people. I mean here, I’m pointing a big finger to the guys, especially on Instagram. I made the mistake once of opening a photo I had been sent via messages on Instagram from a guy I didn’t know and my gahd… it was a very disturbing sight that led to an instant block. I think actually this may be my least favourite thing about sharing my life online to anyone that’s cares to hear what I have to say – the creepy messages, the inappropriate pictures, and some people that become damn right stalkerish (some will even try to take it away from social media and onto e-mail!) This reaffirms my point above even more, you really need to be careful about the intricacies you share because the truth is, you never completely know who exactly is coming across your profile.
Away from the negatives, one my favourite things about blogging is knowing that I’ve been able to impact someone! I can get quite down about my blog sometimes because I put a ton of pressure on myself to grow and make my blog and perfect and pristine as it can be – but whenever I receive a lovely message from someone I have impacted/helped or someone who is just generally an avid reader and wants to share the love, it takes me right back to why I do what I do and makes me seriously appreciative that I am able to do this! I really just sit here and share my experiences with a few extravagant photos dotted here and there, and even if it makes a different to just one person, well, that sounds good to me.
It’s also is interesting if I get recognised in person. Not to say that this happens all the time, but when it does, it’s always a (nice) shock. It can be easy sometimes to feel as though you’re just talking to yourself, but meeting an actual reader in the flesh is always a nice reminder that this isn’t completely the case – there are people that read and actually return week on week to see what’s new. It’s again another push and reminder to keep growing and pursuing what I’m doing.
Lastly, I’m always mindful of people offline reading all the personal thoughts I jot down here. For example, I once wrote a post where I spoke about how I didn’t think I was attractive growing up, and I got a call a few days later from somebody that was absolutely shocked. Or occasionally I will have a friend that will casually note “yeah I read that in your blog” and it’s always a friendly reminder that – oh yeah – people I actually know in real life could really be reading my posts. However, I can’t say I really let that hold me back. I see this as my platform so essentially I share what I like, however I’m always quite mindful of who might be reading, and this could mean choosing not to share some things, remaining neutral on others, and/or just trying to phrase things in the most perfect way such that nobody has to read and feel any kind of way. I put a lot of thought into what I share and often could ponder over something from weeks to months before I figure out the exact right way to write things, occasionally, I may even choose not to share all together. For example, my growing up with no confidence post is something that first came to mind whilst I was on holiday in March, and as you can see – given it was posted in August – it took a while for me to phrase things in the right way such that I could pull that post together.
I’d say if I wasn’t a blogger, I’d have things more on lock down. My profiles would likely all be private, and I would feel a lot more open to share nonchalantly knowing that the only eyes would be those of my friends and family. However, one of the best things about being a blogger is having a platform to really do what I want and help others and I really can’t complain about that.
Photos: Marianne Olaleye