We’re not as important as we think we are

A while ago I wrote a post about why I’m embarrassed to share my blog. And in fact I was talking to someone I know in real life about this a few weeks ago – how it’s one thing to write stuff and publish it online for complete strangers to read, but yet another for people we actually know to read it. Particularly when they don’t understand why we’re writing a blog and choose to criticise us for it.

And sharing my blog is something I still seem to be having an issue with. Last week in the safety of my blogging accountability group, I declared that I was going to post something on Twitter for #sundayblogshare and that I was also going to share something on my personal Facebook profile. But I only managed part of that – the Twitter part.

Why didn’t I share a post on Facebook?

Because Facebook is full of people I know! People I bump into in town, people I meet up with for a cup of tea, people I go to Rotary with, people I have worked with. And somehow sharing a blog on Twitter with 900 people (the vast majority of whom I don’t know) is less scary and embarrassing than sharing a post with people I actually know.

Lemurs at Cotswold Wildlife Park hidingOf course I’m assuming that the people I know on Facebook will actually bother to read the post I share, or be remotely interested. And that’s what I mean by the title of this blog post. We’re not as important as we think we are! We are the centre of our own consciousness, so we assume that everyone else also notices everything we do. And they don’t. They don’t notice if we wear the same top we wore last Tuesday, because they weren’t paying much attention the first time. They don’t dwell on something stupid we said in a meeting, because their minds are focused elsewhere – probably on themselves and something stupid they did last week.

So even if I share a blog post that I think contains my innermost secrets, how many people will actually read it in the first place, let alone still be thinking about my blog post the next day? Putting it that way, I do feel quite silly inflating my own importance in the world, and my worry about sharing my blog.

Why do I care what people think of what I write?

Apart from the fact that I perceive myself and my blog posts to be more important to everyone else than I actually am, I care because what I’m writing comes from inside my head. I’m not so worried about sharing posts about Twitter or networking events or penguins. It’s the ones that express bits of me that are hardest to share. The ones that I don’t want people to laugh at, or judge me for writing. Or those that express something I really want to be, do or have – because those are personal, those make me feel vulnerable when I share them.

I shouldn’t care about that. I do. But I shouldn’t. (I wrote about this in another blog post here.)

And one way to work on that is for me to share my blog posts more widely with people I actually know. I often find I’m surprised when I do share posts – unexpected people comment on subjects I had no idea they were interested in. So this Sunday, when I share my blog on Twitter, I will also share it on Facebook. And I’ll pick a scary post to share. And the world won’t fall apart. I won’t get laughed at the next time I walk down the street. It’ll be fine….

PS The photo above was taken at Cotswold Wildlife Park’s walk through lemur exhibit, and the lemurs were hiding from the rain.

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