A lot of my readers, as I understand, are either in high school or recently out of it, so I know you’ll know what I mean when I say that high school felt sort of like a fish bowl. Everyone knows everyone else’s business, from who you’re dating to who dislikes who. I remember the first time I got my heart broken in high school. It felt so huge, and immediate, and the worst part was that it felt like everyone knew and could see it all over me all the time. Now I know I’m not a mega-celebrity, but the fame I’ve gained in the last two years has made that high school fish bowl feel like a wide open sea. Now, I feel like I’m under a microscopic lens with what seems like the whole world watching.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m incredibly grateful for the community that has formed around me online and for the people who support me, and I love meeting you guys in person. It sincerely makes my day when someone comes up and says hello, asks for a photo, or simply tells me they love my TikTok. It feels good to know that even amongst some of the cyberbullying I’ve experienced, overwhelmingly the experiences I have with you guys in person are nothing short of awesome.
That said, in the last two years I have learned the value of privacy. When I was younger, I met Demi Lovato at a dance competition and begged for a photo. They were so sweet and immediately agreed. Oppositely, when I met Lea Michelle at a Los Angeles restaurant, she firmly let me know she was having dinner and that she wouldn’t be taking any photos. At the time, I was so hurt. I compared the two experiences but looking back, I completely understand the need for her to set boundaries and maintain her time. With this new understanding, I’ve decided that certain parts of my own life will be maintained with healthy boundaries from the public at my own discretion.
I’m not going to put limitations on what I will and won’t share, but know that if I don’t want to talk about something (like who I’m dating), I won’t. If I don’t want to share something, it’s not because it’s a secret, it’s because I’ve chosen to remain private about it. Even if you’re not making a career out of social media, sharing every part of your life online can start to feel exhausting. If you’re feeling burnt out, I would suggest looking at why you’re posting. Ask yourself, “is this for me, or for everyone else?” If the answer is the latter, it’s probably a good indication that you need to take a break or pull back on how much you’re sharing online.
I encourage you all to practice setting healthy boundaries in your life. Whether that be with your friends or the person you’re dating, or even your family! It is healthy and necessary for YOU to decide what you are comfortable sharing online and off. <3