I'm old-school. I grew up drawing distinct lines to divide professional me and personal me.
As a young reporter, I didn't complain about covering a city council meeting that would stretch late in the night and leave little time for a romantic dinner. I didn't talk about my health, my debt, and things that kept me awake. I was a professional and didn't reveal much.
But technology changed me. Facebook, Flicker, Blogs — these forms of communication have blurred the lines between personal and professional and I am not navigating well.
Each day I question How much to reveal? How much to withhold? In these expanding forms of connection, and these widening circles of 'friends', sometimes it seems we're all trying too hard to be heard. Look at me! Look at me! Is all this sharing just self-promotion in disguise?
Last year, exasperated and overshared, I quit Facebook. I didn't miss it, really, but I did migrate back.
And yesterday, for my husband, on our anniversary, I baked a pie and wrote a poem. I wanted to share the poem here but all night I tossed and turned and wondered why. Why do I want to share something so personal? Wouldn't doing so diminish the fragile, intimate space where our real lives thrive?
Sometimes on Facebook, when I see photos of babies or airing of struggles, I cringe. It's too much, I think. Keep it safe in that secret place where only you have access to the details of your heart. Other times, I am greedy for those nuggets of personal information that will give me a glimpse of who you are, what makes your life.
How much to reveal? How much to withhold? The questions press at me more each day.