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How I Overcame the Fear of Sharing on Social Media

From Hiding to Publishing Dozens of Articles That Barely Anyone Reads and Accepting It

By Alicja SnarskaPublished 6 days ago 5 min read
I don't even mind unflattering photos anymore. Am I falling asleep? Maybe.

For many years (10?!?), I kept my social media profiles hidden with 0 posts and no photos. I remember the exact moment when I had made this decision.

I had spent too much time on Facebook and felt embarrassed by my posts and photos with only 2–3 likes. Especially that last photo, someone else tagged me in—I thought I looked super cute, but it received no likes at all. I posted it on my feed and waited. And nothing. A couple of hours later, I decided to delete every single item visible on my wall. I was done with waiting for others' approval. Thinking about what to post, why no one liked it, and so on was exhausting and gave me nothing in return. It took me half a day to erase my Facebook past. I had a clean slate that no one could judge, not even me, simply because there was nothing to judge anymore.

I was about 21 back then, and it felt… liberating. I didn’t have to think about what to post, what to hide, or whether I looked good enough in that photo. If someone tagged me in a photo, I automatically blocked it. I didn’t compare myself to others based on photos, travel posts, social reach, etc. I decided I didn’t want to compete in this race.

In the meantime, I started an Instagram account. I had a rule: to never publish photos of myself—only share photos of places, items, and things that were impersonal. I was pretty proud of it. I kept calling it my photo diary, but no one except me understood what all these photos meant. I thought I was being mysterious ;)

I also stressed the importance of personal data protection, defended my right to privacy, and warned others about data security.

As you can see, being invisible on social media had many benefits and worked for me for almost a decade (!!!), until it didn’t.

Two years ago, I got hired by a company that emphasized personal branding. Only then did I understand its true potential and realize that it’s not that difficult. Yet, I couldn’t bring myself to just post something. I had these questions and beliefs swirling in my head:

What if no one reads it, and no one likes it? Does that mean I’m a loser with no friends?

What if it’s stupid, and everyone will think I’m an idiot?

I’m not smart, pretty, or interesting enough to share something meaningful.

I didn’t want to confront these doubts, but at the same time, I felt a compelling need to share my thoughts with people. Personal branding became more than just pushing myself and proving how great I was; it became a way to share my true beliefs and thoughts.

So, I decided to go back to therapy. I started working with an amazing therapist who used Process Work. As cliché as it sounds, we figured out that my fear of sharing on the internet stemmed from my parents' divorce when I was little. My mom decided it was better for me to grow up without a father than to have a parent in active addiction. I had never questioned her decision or considered its emotional impact on me. During our sessions, I felt a deep love for my dad, unrequited love in a way, which wasn't enough to change his behavior. It hurt. So much. I cried as hard as ever. This love felt like a weakness, something I didn’t want to share with anyone. How could I love someone who had abandoned me for so many years? I felt stupid, naive, and helpless, but I eventually uncovered the truth.

The whole story is, of course, more complicated than this (isn’t everything?). Despite not being physically present, my dad supported me financially for most of my life. However, for a little girl, money does not replace a parent. To share not only the sad parts, I'll also share 'a happy ending'—in the summer of 2019, I actually told him I loved him for the first time. We talked a lot, and my relationship with him has never been better since ❤

And so, there I was, finally understanding—I was ashamed to share on the internet because deep down, I felt I wasn't good enough.

I was afraid that exposing my vulnerability publicly would lead to more hurt, and I believed that putting myself out there wasn't worth it. I had a huge fear of judgment, imagining people reading what I had to say and then turning their backs on me, not accepting me for who I truly was. At this point, I just needed the “F**k this” attitude.

The time had come to update my Facebook profile picture, publish the first photo of myself on Instagram, and wrote my first Medium article. It was about working for Microsoft, and it gained more traction than I expected. However, the number of likes I received on Facebook was disappointing. I simply decided not to care.

I published a couple more articles in English (on Medium) and two in Polish (on LinkedIn). Were they popular? Well, the first ones in Polish and English gained some attention. But to make it more awkward—only the first ones. All the others were merely noticed. It was a nightmare come true. But you know what? I don’t care. I'm happy I'm sharing. Obviously, it would be nice if even one person read them and found them impactful, but that’s not the point for me anymore.

So, why do I keep writing, even if no one is reading?

I don’t know. I feel that the lessons I've learned and the thoughts that pop into my head are valuable, even if not widely appreciated. I believe it's my duty in a way to share them. Perhaps they will inspire somebody, prompt someone to rethink aspects of their lives, or simply help me feel better by sharing stories that live inside of me. Probably all of the above.

This text was initially meant to inspire—“hey, you can post stuff and not care about stats too!” But you’re a smart person; you already know you can post stuff.

What you might not know (because I didn’t) is that not everyone is genuine on social media because showing one’s vulnerability is HARD. For everyone.

Being true and honest isn’t easy. But once you accept yourself—your real self, not the perfect, retouched, “made” version—you can also accept the imperfect things you share online. Spoiler alert: they won’t be perfect! And then, whether you get reactions—it becomes secondary.

If you read all of this— thank you! And good luck with whatever you’re doing!


About the Creator

Alicja Snarska

I come from Poland, lived in US and did the "digital nomad" thing for 2 years. This got me to Mexico, where I found love and stayed 🫶🏼

Writing about philosophy, psychology, economy and sometimes other random things.

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  • Alex H Mittelman 6 days ago

    I think your story is very meaningful! Thank you for sharing! ❤️♥️🖤💛💙🩷💜🤎🩶💚🧡🩵🤍💕

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