I didn't want to post a life update on Facebook for a lot of reasons.
I'm very afraid of oversharing online, and having to live with the repercussions of that in the future (by future kids stumbling across my words to future employers judging me unfit for a job because of them, etc.).
I also don't like posting a lot about myself. I am on social media sites to learn about others more than to be about me - plus, in college, Facebook is how a lot of clubs communicate online. Also, I am not looking to start a conversation about me because I've got nothing particularly special going on right now.
But after a couple of months of debating, I posted a life update for one main reason - I didn't want to keep explaining to people that I was single instead of in a relationship. I posted it on Facebook for the convenience it offered me - I wouldn't have to keep explaining my breakup with my boyfriend, which unfortunately still makes my heart ache (even though we both knew it was the right thing to do).
But as the number of likes grew from single digits (which is the common number of likes for my less than extraordinary posts) to more than one-hundred, I wondered why Facebook posts starting with the words "Life update!" receive a lot of attention.
Did my life update post receive a lot of attention because I'm about to graduate? That's a pretty big milestone, and people in my family and friend groups are naturally curious what I'm planning to do after college.
Did people like my life update because people on social media sites like Facebook have become accustomed to the desire to know what their close friends, acquaintances, and the practically-strangers-but-still-on-my-feed-cuz-I-used-to-work-with-them are up to? I think people like knowing what other people are up to. This desire could come from genuine love and concern. This desire could be as simple as curiosity. I know I am drawn to reading other people's life updates, even if I haven't seen this dude since he was in middle school, a whole five inches shorter and sporting a very middle school wardrobe (100% Abercrombie and Fitch).
Do I want the number of likes to be so high because people liked my shout out to Mary, the Mother of God, for helping me through a really tough couple of months? I WOULD HOPE SO, but I doubt it. Not many people I know are seeking out information about the Mother of God. But sincerely, without Mary, I don't think I would've accepted the forgiving love Christ has for me as much as I did.
In all sincerity, I think my post caught people's attention because 1) I barely post anything in depth about me on Facebook and 2) the post mentioned a relationship related thing, which everyone is interested in knowing about, no matter what age they are. The good news is, with every like I felt a little more relieved (one less person who would ask about my ex-boyfriend, assuming we were together!). I also got some words of encouragement in the comments from close friends, which brightened my day.
All in all, I enjoyed posting a life update because having all the information I wanted out in the open felt so relieving. I shared enough to be heard and didn't feel as alone after posting it.
So yay for life updates! Maybe I'll do more in the future.