So I have this friend who I typically kept in touch with occasionally and via social media. She went AWOL for a while and the next update I saw from her was pictures of her new baby on her status. To be honest, I wasn’t upset about the secrecy, I was instead amused. She’s certainly not the first and won’t be the last woman I know to disappear online when pregnant. Plus, it is possible that if we were still as close as we used to be, I would’ve probably known about her pregnancy.
As a matter of fact, many people will react with surprise when a Nigerian woman shows off her baby bump publicly. And then, pregnancy aside, we also shy away from sharing personal information. We hide how old we are, how much we earn or any good news we get. It makes me wonder about our perception of keeping secrets and over sharing personal information.
I always say ‘each to their own’ so I’m not trying to persuade anyone to change their beliefs. I’ll just share a few thoughts on what I would say are myths about oversharing
Your village people are out to get you
If your village people were really out to get you, you may not be here today. Paranoia can very crippling. If you do know for sure there are a few terrible apples in your family then you’ll know to stay clear of them as much as possible. But to live a life of complete secrecy might be taking it a bit too far and also dangerous. If you fear to tell people of your whereabouts or certain happenings in your life and you get into trouble, your friends or even family may not know how to help you. They may not even know where to start because they know nothing.
People will be jealous of you
My first question is: why do you care? If you can’t tell your friends about your achievements or about great things happening in your life, are they really your friends? You should be surrounded by people that cheer you on and rejoice with you. It goes both ways, if you hung out with your friend today and the day after tomorrow, you saw pictures of her chilling on some exotic island and she didn’t say a word to you about it, check your friendship. Some people are more private than others, yes. But even private people open up to those they can trust.
You can lose the good thing you have
Back to the pregnancy example, people fear other’s people’s jealousy or ill feelings towards them can somehow cause them to lose the pregnancy.
This topic is quite sensitive so my advice would be, don’t give other people that much power over you and how you choose to live your life. Bad people are everywhere, known and unknown to you. Social media aside, unless you lock yourself indoors indefinitely and become a hermit, there is no guarantee that you won’t meet people with ill-will towards you at the office, or the supermarket or even in church. Don’t let anyone else determine what you will or won’t share.
Let that be your decision.