In the blogging world, we talk a lot about being “real”. Vulnerability is praised. Authenticity is a big key to success. Creating a shiny, flawless facade or fabricating a more interesting persona? Not good ideas. We all know this. The big buzz word?
And transparency is a lovely thing. The ability to show who you truly are in a senstive, enlightening way is valuable to your readers. It is the writer who can convey realness, truth, and fallibility who can capture an audience. I first have to believe your story is genuine before I can get engaged. If I think your stories of a perfect house and marriage don’t ring true, I’m not going to be one bit interested in your advice. Transparency means letting your readers see flawed truth rather than a touched-up reflection.
There is danger, however, in this desire to be ever-more transparent. All too often lately, I read posts and articles that make me squirm a little bit. I don’t think (though I could be wrong) that I’m particularly prudish. Still, there are times when “transparency” becomes over-sharing… or, quite simply, TMI.
- –Revealing that you have to work hard to keep your marriage lively and fun is transparency… revealing that you danced in black lace for your man last night is TMI.
–Revealing that you’ve struggled with facial or body hair since your teen years can be transparency… providing explicit details of your Brazilian wax is TMI.
–Revealing that your relationship with your mother-in-law is challenging and strained is transparency… giving a detailed account of all her many flaws is TMI.
… do you see where I’m going with this?
I’m just not sure that this breed of “transparency” is such a good thing. Honestly? I don’t want to read things that make me blush furiously. I don’t want to read venomous posts that would likely devastate the person about whom they were written. And I don’t need to know all the details about your bodily fluids and cycles.
I realize that, ultimately, the choice is mine. I simply don’t have to read the “over-sharing” if I don’t enjoy it. And that’s fine. But I just wonder if I’m the only one who worries that new bloggers looking for success might think that sharing every excrutiating detail is essential in a quest to be genuine? Am I the only one who sees a line between transparency and TMI? Am I the only one who feels that too many people are trying to be “unique” through shock and over-sharing?
Let me know your thoughts.