I know what you’re thinking. You’re looking at the title and you’re wondering what could possibly have possessed me to write this post. And you’re wondering how on earth I’m going to justify showing off your successes. (Or maybe you just clicked on this post because you’re curious, or perhaps you fancied a quick read. Whatever the case, read on! – because I am very very interested to hear all of your opinions on this subject!)
Now, I’m all for people celebrating their successes on social media. I love scrolling through my timeline and seeing people achieving their goals, whatever that may be, from achieving their monthly target for views on their blog, or getting into their first-choice university, or gathering the courage to go to a social event. However, I’ve seen a few individuals speak up about how people should think twice before sharing these kinds of things on social media, purely because they can make others feel undervalued or unsuccessful.
I admit that I do occasionally share my achievements on my Twitter (as I’m sure many of you know) and I hadn’t really considered that this could be harmful in any way. And this really made me reflect a little on whether it is ever okay to share your successes with the world.
From my perspective , I (and most people that I can think of who I’ve seen share their proudest moments online) don’t intend to make others feel devalued or discouraged. I fully understand though that this in itself doesn’t stop people from feeling bad about themselves – but it goes deeper than that.
When I share my successes, it’s because I am proud of them, and have worked hard to achieve them. More than often, I’ll have shared with you guys my journey and my feelings throughout the process – whatever it may be – and so I feel it’s right to share the outcome with you all, who’ve almost gone on the journey with me (cringey, I know, but it’s true!)
I understand that’s quite specific to me, but others who share their successes may not have anybody else to share them with. Quite honestly, I personally think suggesting people abstain from celebrating online seems a bit harsh. Yes, you should absolutely only work towards a goal for your own satisfaction and not for the satisfaction you will get from sharing it with others, because that will never make you happy. And some joys are definitely better kept private – but that’s a decision for each individual to make for themselves. But sometimes – just sometimes – it’s nice to own your accomplishments and be proud of them and maybe get a little bit of recognition for that.
To me, having to think twice about sharing your feelings when you’re happy kind of… dampens the joy?! I do understand that being in an environment in which all you see is people *apparently* succeeding in life can be damaging. Particularly when you don’t seem to be making ‘any progress’ with your own goals, this can be disheartening. This is why I try my absolute best to keep it real (maybe a bit too real) on my social media, where I share my (countless) failures and daily struggles along with some of my proudest moments. Social media can be an an overwhelmingly perfect place, but it’s so important to bear in mind that it is a highlights reel, as Beth Sandland so elegantly puts it. You truly cannot judge how happy a person is through social media.
What do you all think? Should we think twice before sharing our successes online – and have you ever been discouraged by others’ successes?! Do creators owe it to their audiences to share the bad with the good? Something that’s been on my mind for a while, but I’ve only got around to typing this up today. Let me know your thoughts in the comments!