On openness.

openness blog post

If you’re capable of tweeting three times about how much you like toast, you’ve got to be a pretty open person, right? Despite sharing the minutiae of life on a near daily basis, I’m careful about what I do share. Facebook status? Haven’t had one for years. The last proper selfie I posted on Instagram? Twenty-seven weeks ago. If you consider that a blog is an online diary of sorts, this could start to become a problem. I absolutely love reading how others tackle major life issues, successes and failures in the open, cheering them on with a tweet, so why am I so reluctant to write a few words of my own, let alone click publish? So here's a post that's been in my drafts for a good eight weeks...

I don’t wear my heart on my sleeve, both in real life and online. It’s a bit like that lacy and incredibly uncomfortable bra you adore but will only ever come out on special (and probably slutty, we’ve all been there) occasions. You’re vaguely aware of where it is, but it’s an effort getting to and you're convinced it won’t be worth it - best it just stays put. I’ve been told time and time again that I can be pretty frustrating to talk to; I’m not forthcoming with personal information and work on a strictly need to know basis. Inability to leave my room for weeks on end other than to attend lectures (just)? Nah, just not been out much. Recurring medical problem? Left it over two years before seeing a doctor. That tooth I broke in November? I still need to make that dentist appointment… Yet I’m probably one of the easiest people to talk to you’ll ever meet (not to blow my own trumpet or anything, I’m just pretty chatty). Get me in a good mood, and I can talk like we’ve been BFFs for years, but it's doubtful you'll learn anything about me other than what I got up to at the weekend. This kind of thing just doesn’t come naturally to me, and, although I bottle things up with the inevitable outpouring of tears in the work toilets, I’ve made it to 23 without a criminal record so I can’t be doing too badly.

In fact, I post so infrequently about the feels that I can pinpoint my few moments of emotional openness on the internet very easily – namely because I’ve had to suffer the consequences of it. The first very open chat I had on my blog was about my time at university, and how I hadn’t enjoyed every second of it. I’d massively toned down the extent of how much the loneliness had affected me (I’m still not comfortable going into the details of that to this day), regardless I got three people to check it wasn't "too much" before deciding to go with it. So I clicked publish. I got people messaging me saying how they were upset by the post (wait, you know I blog?), saying how I should’ve opened up to them at the time, how I should’ve mentioned them by name in the post, saying how I should’ve consulted them before publishing it, etc. When my next big life moment happened, I didn’t bother saying much. I announced I was moving to Munich by sticking to facts. I fannied around with what I’d been up to (FYI, it was spent going out out at least twice a week and ebaying everything I owned), but there was literally zero depth, as planned.

This post may have a pretty self-derogatory tone, but there is the question of whether this is actually a big problem. Blog isn’t short for “web log” any more – it’s a word in its own right, and we’ve moved on a long way since Live Journal. I frankly can’t be bothered to dissect the true meaning of the word in 2015 as it’s something to be done over a bottle of wine, but, as a lot of bloggers have mentioned, blogs are now becoming your A+ version, leaving those Cs and Ds as drafts and Snapchats – there’s no room for the imperfect, and I’ll be the first to tell you I’m as far from that pinnacle as can be. My blog isn’t special; my only niche is myself (and, perhaps, my rather excellent puns). Seeing as I’m not putting the former into my blog, it’s slowly making me wonder whether there’s any point in putting in hours of dedication to one post, because... who cares? It’s one-dimensional, and I’m amazed on a daily basis that I have any regular readers (you guys are well alright).

I’m clearly not going to promise to write more open posts in the near future, as it’s simply impossible to change my mindset on a whim, or even a published (!!!) blog post. Yet I still do love reading about the blogger behind the Instagram filters, and with the added bonus of conversation – hello, Twitter! – even I can open up a teeny tiny bit. Maybe.

I may not be Megs with her incredibly frank and amazing video explaining her smear test and treatment, Katy who you just want to cuddle (as much as Runkle) and drink milky tea with to remind yourself it’s OK to not be OK, or even the wonderful Soph who goes on in the best possible way about one little thing, but that’s OK because they are so much better at it than I am. But when you do get a little snippet of what’s going on inside my head it’s probably going to be muddled and come at you like a bloody hurricane (because I’m hurt and shouting it at you), but it will be from the heart. So even if I’m not letting on I cried a tiny little tear at a Hannah Maggs vlog that one time, I hope you guys are happy with what I do share, and if you ever have any questions feel free to send me an email and I will reply with an honest to blog answer. Promise.


  1. I'm a long time blog lurker. I used to interact far more with writers I loved because it felt like we were two genuine people having genuine conversations. But these days, I think I've written about five comments in as many years. As blogging has developed, the community feels as though it now focuses on authors rather than audiences. The new dynamic of bloggers and 'fans' is a weird one for me, and it often seems that people comment just to get their own blog seen.

    I really miss the old spirit of blogging, the stream of consciousness sort of style that gave writers a release. That cathartic exercise really seemed to connect people and open up interesting conversations. Whilst I do enjoy beauty and lifestyle blogs, often it feels hard to connect with people when content is so polished. People often seem focused on fashioning a brand, which can be disconcerting.

    So what I'm trying in a really awful way to say (see why I don't comment often) is that I would definitely welcome more personal insights if and when you feel ready to! Those are the posts I connect with the most. I read blogs for opinions and stories and human emotion, rather than paid-for advertorials

    1. Nah, this isn't an awful way to put it, I totally get what you mean! It is a bit weird to sift through the paid-for opinions (particularly as someone who works with a brand who pays for blog content, so I see it from both sides), and I do think it's important to get your own voice across. I don't know, blogging's become a bit "editorial" rather than "whatever crap I thought this morning", which isn't a bad thing, but it's definitely a thing. This comment is definitely not making any sense, but thanks for sharing - I read blogs for the conversations too!

  2. I think I'm the opposite - I just blab on about everything to everyone (within reason of course) and then I think 'God did they really wanna know that?' Personally I find blogging to be a great outlet for feelings but I totally get how it can be daunting to put yourself out there to strangers on the internet, especially if you don't really talk to people in real life about things. But it's never good to bottle things up and I hope that you can find someone to talk to.

    Don't worry about not being as open on your blog, we all love the stuff you post already (although the blogging world would definitely support you if you did want to share more on here.) I think sometimes people moan about blogs being too happy and not reflective of 'real life' but if someone doesn't want to tell people they don't know their personal business then why should they? Especially as most peoples problems rarely just involve themselves. People tell me I'm really open and honest on my blog but really that's just when it comes down to discussing chronic illness - I would never discuss any family/friend problems etc! Anyway I've rambled on enough for sure. Hope you're ok Rebecca x


Hello, I'm Rebecca: social media exec, new-ish coffee drinker and loafer-wearer.
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