Dear Diary…

Diaries are no longer private. Tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook posts have trained people into sharing thoughts, opinions, and personal images publicly.

People keep their diaries online.

It took a few years for people to get comfortable with digital sharing. Facebook became popular because it walled your content from the rest of the world. But then Twitter came along and trained everyone to become a mini-celebrity. All of a sudden people had a voice, a microphone, in less than 140 characters.

Now people can’t stop sharing. They want people to like, comment, share, retweet, favorite, repin, heart, and reblog their content. They share more when no one responds and they’re incentivized to share more when they do get a response.

The smartphone and Internect connectivity make capturing content just as easy as sharing it. You can snap a photo and publish it in three clicks/touches. You can just as easily keep this information private.

The challenge today is in knowing what information to keep to yourself. It could be an idea, a quick brain fart, or a to do list on Evernote or Day One. In a way, the practice of social sharing has increased the likeliness of private sharing.

Sharing is a mixture of self-promotion and selflessness. It publicizes your work and it helps inform others. Sharing with yourself, on the other hand, is more likely the act of discovering yourself.

“The benefit of keeping a diary is that it helps me figure out what the hell I’m doing with my time on earth.” – John Sundman, writer 

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By Wells Baum

Wells Baum is a daily blogger who writes about Life & Arts. He's also the author of and four books.