Do you ever wonder, in this era of social media, blogging, vlogging, and podcasting, if you, me, others, share too much?
As a writer, it’s a question I constantly ask myself. I always want to find the balance between sharing just enough about my own chronic illness/life experiences, so I can connect with my readers, however I don’t want my story to come across as needing a response or to concern people. I really am ok. I share because I want others to feel less alone in their own health journeys, and as a patient advocate, I want to educate the general public. I always hope my tips on handling difficult, confronting, and life changing situations bring hope and practical advice, while making an overall difference to my readers’ well-being.
It’s A Tall Order
I know I’m setting myself a tall order in achieving a balance of sharing versus over sharing, and I’m pretty sure other bloggers will feel the same, especially when the blog genre is so personal.
I’ve had a dilema this week as I’ve been working on my Medical Musings with Friends 2023 Forum Strategy.
I need to make major changes to how my Administration Team and I have been managing the group for the past 6 years for the following reasons:
♡We have a good, stable global membership but are not growing.
♡ We run a variety of interactive segments on our forum, and participation is reducing. They are a lot of work for the Moderator team. Coming up with fresh ideas, new graphics, scheduling the Segments in advance, and monitoring them when they go live is a huge job. Given our moderators’ health issues and family responsibilities, we are struggling to continue with this commitment in a regular way.
♡Comments on all members’ posts are reducing. Some of that is the fault of FB algorithms. The @everyone hashtag, which was Facebooks solution to ensure wider engagement, was not a popular decision in our group. We lost 25 members when we tried it. Without using this tool, many existing members are just not seeing our posts. However, I’ve reluctantly made the decision not to use it as we can’t afford to infuriate members.
♡ Some of the decrease in interaction is also because COVID restrictions are reduced or non-existent, and members have re-engaged with life off- line.
♡ History shows that most moderators burn out quickly in chronic illness forums, partly because we also have significant chronic diseases.
♡ We need a sustainable MMWF model. Otherwise, the risk is that the group may need to close.
So, with the help of my Admin team, I’ve designed a 2023 strategy for the forum. I won’t go into details here as I’ll be sharing it with my group members tomorrow, and I’ll be providing further personal information as to why change is necessary.
Sharing With A Purpose
I think there lies the key to the sharing question. It’s helpful to share and give something of ourselves when an explanation is required.
Sharing with a purpose makes sense. It might be that your health has taken a turn for the worse, or you have a new diagnosis requiring major treatment. These new circumstances might mean you need to reduce your working/volunteering commitments, or you know your family and friends will notice changes to your normal routine.
These are important reasons to be a little transparent, so others are given the opportunity to understand why things have changed or will change. It gives others the opportunity to care, reach out, and even help if they can. Or you may not require assistance, so you can let people know that when you share your news. You can also choose to share high-level detail or in-depth detail, depending on your audience.
To Share Or Not To Share?
Every question deserves an answer, and my answer is to share when it matters.
- If it matters to you to get it off your chest, share.
- If your news impacts others, share.
- If your actions require an explanation, for example, you are making changes to the way you operate at work or with volunteering activities, then share.
- If sharing feels right and gives you a sense of peace, share.
I will share my 2023 MMWF Strategy with you all in the coming days. I have an important medical appointment this week, which could be life changing or may be another, “let’s keep an eye on it” situation.
I will share the facts of this appointment, the impacts, and how I intend to deal with the outcome. My hope will be that sharing my news will explain why I’m making changes, to how I live my life, and how I manage my commitments this year.
My aim is to ensure no one is left guessing and I reduce the risk of misunderstanding.
So, if you are wondering if you should share what’s going on in your life I hope my insight, and dare I say my struggle with this dilema during the week, helps you work out what course of action to take.
Most importantly, please remember your story matters, you matter, and most people want to know what’s happening in your life so they can support you, and understand how your news affects both you and them.
Medical Musings with Friends
If you’re looking for genuine support, care, understanding and friendship, you are so welcome to join my closed Facebook support forum, Medical Musings with Friends . It’s a safe place to connect with others living with chronic and complex diseases, who truly understand the daily challenges. A warm welcome awaits.
My book “My Medical Musings”, is published by Imaginewe Publishers and available now to purchase as a paperback or e-book.
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I’m also a Contributor at “The Mighty”. You can check out my published articles at My Author Page