As my public digital footprint continues to grow, I have started noticing more indecision on my part between sharing on my private vs. public social media accounts. I have always had a visceral reaction to reading articles about child-shaming (parents calling out their children for poor choices over social media*), so I knew I would never go that far. But my negative ego, was telling me that sharing cute photos or funny anecdotes in the public domain would somehow help add to the lesson I wanted to share, or allow me to feel more authentic and real to those following my blog. Humor can be memorable, right? Yet my intuition kept telling me, something was off and that I needed to check in with what that was exactly so I could resolve the conflict within myself. So I chose to take the topic to a session with my coach, and with her holding the space, we were able to clarify where I was getting hung up. My values of authentically sharing my learning and that of protecting my children were bumping up against one another.
There’s a fascinating 2 part podcast on the TED Radio Hour called “Screen Time” which explores our developing relationship with the digital world – pioneer territory for our society. In one of the segments, they discuss how each of us are in continuous creation of an online identity. An identity that will live on after we die. (Whether you are a parent or not, I highly recommend a listen.)
In integrating all this information, I was able to finally resolve the conflict I had been wrestling with and got clarity on what my intuition had been trying to tell me all along. I deeply respect each person’s choices as their own, in fact it is one of my core values. The idea of sharing overly personal details of their lives on my blog feels wrong to me, so I may sometimes be intentionally vague with my examples or where I’ve drawn inspiration. The idea of creating an online identity on behalf of my children feels wrong to me. When they are of an age to make their own informed decisions, they will be free to create their own. I realize this may continue to be tricky for me as I document and share my journey since I draw inspiration from my real life. I realize that I may make a misstep in the future which contradicts my intention. However, now that I’ve identified the issue and am more aware of its importance to me, I can continue to check in with my intuition and more easily access what it is telling me. So the public may see a foot here, or a back of the head there, but I’m consciously choosing to keep our children’s faces to private accounts.
Being conscious is about raising our awareness and acting out of intention rather than the deeply ingrained reflex of our ego. Conscious parenting is bringing that awareness and intention to the space we hold for our children to grow up in, and interact within even once they are grown. Believe it or not, it includes how we self-parent as well.
Ultimately, when it comes to social media this process is what feels most right for me. In and of itself, social media is not good or bad – it’s all in how we decide to use it and how we allow our interaction with digital platforms to make us feel. I invite you to post with intention rather than reflex by exploring what feels most right for you. ♥