How Others Inspired Me to Be More Open Online

It must’ve been a couple of months ago now when I commented on one of John’s blog posts, congratulating him for a follow count milestone. I also mentioned that he had inspired me to be more open online. Without trying to sound like I’m sucking up to John, he really has helped me realise that opening up about certain things online is not as scary as I thought.

I didn’t expect anything from that comment, so it was a massive surprise when, a few hours later, John asked me if I wanted to write a guest post for him over on Twitter, based on the comment I had written. Of course, I snapped up the opportunity, and it’s something I’ve been thinking about ever since.

Isn’t it funny how our attitudes towards being open online change as we grow up? Perhaps it’s a generational thing, but I definitely felt a lot of pressure when I was younger to keep as much of my personal information private as I could. I have fond memories of my parents, friends, and the school trying to educate me and my peers about the dangers of being open online.

Obliviously I would never publish information like my credit card details on my blog, but are all forms of personal information sharing as bad as our parents made out when we were younger?

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of bloggers out there who don’t seem to think so. Every day, someone new creates a blog to share their story. Whether it’s about mental health, disability, or another aspect they want to share with the world, people are writing about it every day.

I know it isn’t the same for everyone, but I’m one of many bloggers who makes the decision to become more personal about myself on my blog after I had established myself. It took me months after receiving my autism diagnosis to talk about that online, and even longer before I went into any detail about it.

When I first started to get personal on my blog, I never quite understood who would benefit from me being open about myself and the things I struggled with on my blog. It’s people like John who have helped me answer that question, and inspired me to continue sharing my personal experiences with disability and mental health.

I remember coming across John’s mental health blog posts a while after I had started to follow his journey, and some of the things he wrote resonated with me in a way I thought they never would. I felt like I could relate to someone from a different walk of life, even though we had only spoke a handful of times. This sounds kind of cliché, but it really did make me feel like I wasn’t alone in my battle.

I’ve since discovered a lot of people just like John, who are brave enough to open up about their personal struggles online, and it inspires me to do the same every day.

I want other people to feel the sense of community, of togetherness that made me feel less alone when my own battle when I read posts written by other bloggers. Every time I receive comments from people who tell me that I have made them more aware of something, or have written about something that resonates with them, I smile. These comments make me feel good, too.

This is something I only really started thinking about recently, but I’ve become really interested in it, especially knowing what other bloggers think. Do you guys think opening up online about certain things is a good idea? I’d love to know!

Before I go, I’d just like to thank John for giving me this opportunity. I’ve really enjoyed thinking and writing about this topic.

If you’d like to follow more of Rebekah’s, you can find the links below;

Twitter – @rebekahgillian

Blog – rebekahgillian.co.uk

Disclaimer: All content in today’s post is owned by Rebekah and was only supplied for this guest blog. 

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