Being Public but Private

I’ve had several conversations over the last month or so where I have found myself giving a description of the type of person I am. In these cases I have described myself as being an introverted extroverted person. Huh? I know it doesn’t sound right so here’s a little more explanation of what I mean. I know I come across as a very social person with my Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat accounts. I even have this blog that I’m trying desperately to be more consistent in posting in. But with all of these platforms my tendency is still to keep everybody at arms length. I’ll share a little bit about myself but typically not to much.

Now for my close friends and some family members, they really “know” all about me. For example, very few people know where I stand politically (most probably don’t care). I’m sure a lot of people think they know or could make an educated guess but it wouldn’t be based on actual conversations with me or being able to see a Facebook post or the like, where they’ve seen a “public” statement or sentiment. For the most part, I have chosen to keep those types of things private.

In life, my life at least, I have found that it is rare for two people to look at anything and see the exact same thing. That’s one of the beautiful things about life, we all experience life different. Because of this, we all have developed our own preferences, prejudices, and precepts on how we view and react to things. It will be rare to find someone who has the same opinions as me about anything which is why I choose to keep most of my opinions to myself. Again, my close friends and some relatives know my opinions but its only because we have developed our relationships over the years.

Real relationships take time to develop and evolve to a level where you can truly get to the point where you know someone. I have something like 950 “friends” on facebook but I really only know about 10% of them and of those, only about half of them do I really know. It is for this reason that I choose to be public but private.

I love the social aspect of Facebook and getting to see all of the different life’s journeys that people are on. Seeing what Old Classmates are up to and living vicariously through them and some of their experiences can be a lot of fun. Unfortunately, there are only a couple that I have been able to maintain any kind of real relationship with. Likewise, I enjoy keeping up with the hundreds of kids that I have been blessed to have coached over the last 20 years and yet again, only a handful have I been able to maintain close relationships with.

Here is where I love to think of myself has been an extrovert but I’m really not. I love to be social, going out with people and sharing some common life experiences but when it comes to really investing time and energy to grow and develop those relationships, it is hard to find enough time to do so. So it is that after almost 30 years of marriage, Lisa and I have exactly 5 couples that we have done life with over that time. And we have been and continue to be so blessed by each of them! Now both Lisa and I have our own individual relationships with other people and for each of us, some of those friendships have been in place for 40 or in my case, 50 years!

Well this post went in a different direction than what I thought it would be so let me attempt to bring it back. I have chosen and in some cases, Lisa as well, choose to be private in what we share on social platforms. With those that we are doing life with, we are very transparent and share almost everything. And I guess what I was trying to get at with this post is to caution folks to not make the various social platforms their only source of relationships. Instead, find some friends, couples that you can invest some time in and truly get to know and do life with – the ups and downs of this life are meant to be shared and having some truly great friendships only enhance the experience.

Peace and thanks for reading!,


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