30 Before 30
In honor of my upcoming 30th birthday, I’ve researched countless “things to do before 30” lists. And while there are plenty to choose from, I kept coming back to “Thirty Things Every Woman Should Have and Should Know by the Time She’s 30.”
The List was originally published in Glamour by columnist Pamela Redmond Satran in 1997. Over the next 30 weeks, I’ll be tackling each item on The List and reflecting about it here… publicly (gulp). I hope you enjoy and we can grow together. After all, turning older is a privilege denied to many.
By 30, you should have…
8. An email address, a voice mailbox, and a bank account—all of which nobody has access to but you.
When I first read this week’s challenge, I thought: Well, duh. Who else would have access to my email, voicemail or bank account?
I was quick to learn, though, this is about more than having a few things private to yourself. It’s about what we share of ourselves and what we keep to ourselves.
Jacquelyn Mitchard writes about how quick we (especially as women) are to share our experiences, insights and perspectives. But what are we left with when we share everything? Mitchard asserts that if we spend our time focused on listening, rather than talking, we stand to gain more than when we divulge endless pieces of us.
I see Mitchard’s point, maybe more clearly after the past year than I would have before: When we give away so much of ourselves, whether in conversation or on social media, we don’t always allow room for us to take things in.
I’ve struggled with privacy concerns on this blog over the past six years, because I haven’t wanted to give away too much of myself to the world. Knowing full well I’m nowhere near a celebrity’s status, there are still many pieces of my life I don’t want to be known via Google search. Forget sordid college memories — I mean as basic as what I do for a living or where I reside. It’s all a balance of wanting to connect with anyone who’s reading, without opening myself up to be the inspiration for an episode of “Law & Order: SVU.”
What’s easy to forget in our share-everything world is how much of a luxury it is to have privacy. We’re quick to post where we’re going, who we’re with, what we’re doing, what we’re eating, how we’re spending — everything but our social security numbers — in a Facebook update, Snapchat story, Instagram post or tweet. Hell sometimes, it’s on all networks at once!
And I’m not saying we should close ourselves off from the world, refraining from any social interaction for fear of repercussion. Instead, I think it’s a lesson in practice to think before you post (or share in person), to ask yourself why you want to share this piece of information:
What’s the motivation? Is it to brag? To vent? To not feel so alone? Whatever it is, can you get those feelings validated by another means? Can you keep things to yourself you otherwise might not have, because you recognize they’re only lessening your value, not enhancing it?
Clearly, this week’s theme raised a lot of questions for me, so I’m curious to know your take — if you’re so willing to publicly comment 😉 What’s your philosophy on sharing, whether it’s in person or online? What types of things will you always share, versus always keep to yourself?
About WittyburgSarcastic, sports-obsessed writer & FL native navigating SF.
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