On a Need-to-Know Basis

By Aaliyah Moore 

I’m not quite sure what sparked it, but I’ve recently started valuing privacy more and more. There’s a post I’ve often seen circulating on social media that says, “when you build in silence, they don’t know what to attack,” and I find much validity in that statement. I’ve also heard that “private life is a happy life,” and I’m finding a lot of truth in that, too.

Learning how to be private in a world that sometimes values oversharing can be a hard thing to do. For someone who has always been actively engaged in social media and considers herself to be a pretty open and vulnerable person, becoming selective about what I choose to share with people has honestly become an act of self-care. But since I don’t want to completely shut myself off from the social world, I’ve been working to find that balance between sharing information but not sharing too much of it.

So what does that balance look like?

For one, it’s about learning to share information with people on a need-to-know basis, meaning only telling them the facts they need to know at the time they need to know them, and nothing more. Before now, I used to always feel the need to share so much of my life with everyone. I found myself sharing every big and little detail on social media, and this could have very easily been from a place of seeking validation. Now that I’ve grown and realized I don’t have anything to prove to people, it’s made it easier for me to not share everything. I take pride in having a small intimate tribe that I can share a lot of what goes on in my life.

What have I learned from being more private?

I’ve learned that being selective about what I share and who I share it with helps me to protect myself from troublesome judgment. Have you ever asked for someone’s opinion about a decision you were going to make and their two cents completely rubbed you the wrong way? Yeah, I’ve been there. But what I’ve learned is that when you let people in, you’re also letting their opinion in, too. And while it’s good to value what other people think, it’s important to not let your moves be dictated by what people think you should or should not do. Also when you build in private, you gain that freedom from having to explain yourself to people. If it makes sense in your world, then that’s all that truly matters at the end of the day.

I’m not saying that sharing information is a bad thing, I just think it’s important to be aware of when we’re in spaces where we’re oversharing. People don’t need to know all the ins and outs of your life, and we should never confuse a private life with a secret life.

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Aaliyah Moore is a contributing writer for the Pedestal Project, LLC.

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