I’ve been asked several times what it’s like opening your virtual front door & letting complete strangers have a nose around the one place in the world that is purely for you. The place where you come at the end of a long day to unwind & get away from everybody, to surround yourself with only your nearest & dearest. The place you feel most safe. Home sweet home.
As somebody who has a large following & who pretty much only posts about their own home, I suppose you could see it as letting a whole bunch of strangers through said hypothetical front door & in to that space.
I would regard myself as a pretty open person. My home is my sanctuary yet it’s pretty much all I’ve known for the past few years since posting pictures on my Instagram account which was the main catalyst behind this blog. It’s become an automatic & completely natural thing for us as a family to do the occasional Instagram story or for me to ask poor Mr The Home That Made Me to get out of the room as I’m trying to get a picture (you can read more about that in his ‘Being An Insta-Husband‘ guest post).
When things happen in my life, I share it. From personal things such as my crazy birth stories (I mean who gives birth in 6 minutes?!) to my cancer scare in 2016 (which I’m thrilled raised so much awareness & I still get messages about now). I’ve talked about my struggle with anxiety & my struggle with feeling like I’d lost myself in the motherhood journey. Part of being a blogger is opening yourself up & writing about life. Although I am an interior blogger, I feel like you have to give a certain amount of yourself away to build that relationship with people; after all, you can only tell so much about someone from pictures of their kitchen, so I think it’s important to chuck in the occasional personal post.
I love looking at other peoples homes & individual styles through Instagram – it’s inspiring & motivating. It’s strange how you can feel connected to that person, like a distant friend that you’ve known for ages purely through images, captions & stories. I’ve met some fantastic people through the social media platform which have now become my ‘Instafam’ & real life friends. Sometimes my online family are more supportive than my own.
So in a way, I suppose it is letting somebody into your home, & into your life.
Safety wise, do I worry about giving too much away? Sometimes. I’ve encountered my fair share of ‘trolls’, one even going to the extent of telling me that she was having an affair with Mr THTMM. Unfortunately in over 100,000 people, you’re bound to get a few bad eggs but my skin has definitely thickened & if I now receive a horrible message/comment/email, my first thought is ‘they must be going through something terrible in their own lives to want to message somebody they don’t even know abuse, hopefully one day they find happiness’ & to move on.
I remember once receiving a message telling me that giving away my floor plan/layout was asking for trouble as burglars would have a field day knowing their way around. In my mind, it doesn’t take rocket science to work out which room is which & that bedrooms are upstairs. My reply back was that I didn’t have anything worth stealing unless said thief enjoyed Emma Bridgewater crockery or fancy artificial flowers.
I purposely don’t choose to post about my children regularly on my Instagram feed. Partially because I can’t get a decent photo of them without them running in separate directions or it blurring but also that I find Instagram a ‘release’ away from being a full time mother. I want to step away from Peppa Pig & be an adult, if only for 5 minutes immersed in my phone. I decided that interiors was going to be my ‘niche’ as it’s my passion & now career. I’m also wary that Elsa & Rory may not want their pictures/life spread across social media when they get older & that it opens a whole new can of worms which I was so conscious of when Elsa started school last September. I’m always so careful to never show her in her uniform in any stories videos so she gets changed as soon as she gets home.
Instagram stories videos are the perfect way of showing off the ‘real’ life content & keeping the picture perfect ‘Instaworthy’ images to your main feed. It gives accounts a chance to show the real them with toy strewn living rooms or giant spots on their otherwise perfect faces. Things otherwise unseen.
I have embraced this & regularly post about my day-to-day life as well as featuring my children. This gives my followers a chance to get to know me but also us as a family.
Yes, it may be seen as strange to share so much of your life & your home to people you don’t know on a social media app but all (bar a handful) I’ve received back from it is love, kindness & friendliness.
I’d love to know what you think about the situation – would you personally share your life or your home online?