1) We are private people. It simply feels strange to share any old experience so publicly, whether it's a photo of our progress, achievement, general enjoyment or struggle. This is an opportunity for everyone and anyone to have a look at our intimate and private moments. Because that's what they are - OUR moments and it's crazy to think that anyone from across the world could have a glimpse of it at any time and furthermore - have a judgement about it.
2) My past self is such a weirdo and I'd rather just deal with my weirdo self on my own rather then skimming through previous posts I've written and start to cringe at the thought that others whom I'm not even aware of, may have read my writings and see what kind of a weirdo I am.
3) This one is based more on paranoia. I feel a bit anxious about sharing a bunch of photos and information about my kids. With the idea of identity theft and even artificial intelligence becoming more and more of a concern, I don't want to add my daughters' info to the pool of content out there that could potentially be stolen and used in some God knows what way. I am not an expert on this. But here's an article on the fact that no one actually has any idea on how it will all pan out. I don't have time to research AI or to think about the consequences of corporations stealing my information. Because of that I feel like I won't flood social media with pics of me and my kids but nevertheless, I can't help but include some family photos here and there cause we are ALL a part of this project.
4) Finally, and this feels like the most important one to me/us. The idea that mental health issues are on the rise and it's connection to social media. I hear it on the radio constantly. I just did a quick Google search and a bunch of articles show up with studies on how unhealthy social media can be. For example, here's one from Forbes from a few months ago. And here's the statement from the article that sums up the main concern:
"Some of the existing literature on social media suggests there's an enormous amount of social comparison that happens. When you look at other people's lives, particularly on Instagram, it's easy to conclude that everyone else's life is cooler or better than yours."
So does this mean that I may be responsible for someone having a worse day then they would have had, had they not seen or read my post?! I don't want to be so dramatic. Besides, I'll most likely be posting info and pics on a compost toilet we might be building - not exactly a reason for someone to get down about themselves. But who knows?! In reality, the whole aim of my/our posts is to simply share information about what we are doing and what we are trying to achieve. I might be so bold to say that one of our intentions is to motivate others to start following their dreams. However, intention is one thing and the actual consequence of our actions is another. Even this post could somehow potentially offend someone! And I admit - I might take multiple photos to choose the one that looks the most flattering for us, for example. (I once heard an insane average of photos people will take before actually posting. It's crazy!) Obviously I choose pictures where we look happy and content. Although sometimes I wish I had an invisible floating camera around Andres and I when we get into our seriously, intense, blood boiling, 'let's call it quits' kinda discussions, just to share with you evidence that our lives are most definitely not so rosy all the time. I know in reality, every one is more or less aware that people, couples etc go through their rough times but this is the unfairness inherent in social media. We don't and I don't think there really is a truly authentic way of showing this side of our lives. Not that there is truly a need for that specifically but it all seems like such a grey issue and I'm simply acknowledging that here.
Anyway, my bottom line on this point is that I humbly and very seriously don't believe anyone would ever think my life is 'cooler' or better or more productive then there's. However, if I'm completely honest - I have found myself comparing my life to the lives of others who I've discovered through Youtube for example, and they are achieving so much! So much more then we have so far and I feel jealous. I start to analyze my life, our decisions, our actions and start to judge myself. At the same time I do find these people inspiring and I might end up using some of the experiences they share and post to my benefit. It's a very unsettling thought process going through my mind. Either way, I just really hope that no one gets an incorrect or skewed view of our lives that may cause them to feel down about themselves. As that article also stated:
"Social media, especially spending long periods of time on it, is just not that good for us. We may not need to quit it completely, but limiting our time on social media considerably, and reconnecting with friends and family in real life, is definitely the way to go."
At this point, I want to say that I'm not quite sure as to what I'm exactly trying to achieve with this post except to show some awareness. Awareness that yes - some incredibly remarkable and positive actions have resulted due to the thoughtful use of social media but negative impacts can also occur even with the most kindest and harmless of intentions.
Further, I don't want to sound ignorant to the fact that if I have these reservations and concerns then why do I even bother to post anything? The answer to that is, we have seen the positive ways that these incredible new technologies can be used and how they've helped others achieve amazing things. We could probably say that the Internet has had a lead role in guiding us on our own journey to where we are now and has helped us acquire so much new knowledge. The possibility to search for anything and connect with virtually anyone on the planet at anytime is extraordinary and we also want to be part of this evolution. As I said in the beginning - I am eager to share, share more than I have been and not just the serious hard work but fun stuff too. But we want to be mindful as well. We'll see how things go from now on. Besides this inner analysis that goes through my head, the time factor (and motivation) stops me often too.
I hope I'm making some sense here. Either way, even if all this explanation seems totally unnecessary, I just wanted to share these thoughts before venturing further into this whole social media dimension experiment. It's all being figured out as we go along and I think it makes me feel a bit more comfortable just acknowledging my discomfort rather then avoiding it and just aimlessly posting content. I mean, we have a very particular goal and vision in mind, besides our striving to achieve an alternative lifestyle, we are also in the process of designing our own business. Hence there is very deliberate information that we'll be sharing but as we're talking about an alternative lifestyle in general - it could appear a bit aimless sometimes.
Lastly, I'm also curious to what other project makers are thinking in regards to this topic while raising a family and sharing photos and info of their progress on social media. You can kinda tell some people are more private then others but for me, I'd rather lay out our feelings on it directly so I can proceed with sharing in our way and you can understand our boundaries however they may turn out to be after this whole rant!
To close, finally(!), I'm going to go against my usual behaviour and post a picture of our family with all of us facing the camera. Here we are, the four of us, the first time altogether at our land last July :)
We can't wait to get back up there again soon. We also look forward to the whole journey ahead and sharing it as humbly as we can with anyone that may be glancing our way.