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Debate: How much should people share?

By Joshua Vail
On April 13, 2010

All of us have things that we choose to share about ourselves.

We also have things that we don't want known. Sometimes these are habits we don't want people to know about, or we simply don't want people to know everything about us if we aren't close to them.

Finding a happy medium between being totally closed and totally, embarrassingly open is difficult for some people, myself included.

I used to be so reserved that I was walled in and only had a few friends. I still have only a few close friends, but now I choose to be more open. I avoid walling myself in, especially with people I'm going to be working with on a regular basis.

One example is a funny nickname I picked up in my early high school days. I won't be sharing it here because many of the people that read this paper probably know me at least a little bit and I'd rather it not be weaponized.

Anyways, I told the story of how this nickname came to be to someone else in Newspaper early in my first semester here. Now, it is my name in Newspaper. It establishes my identity as someone who is a bit silly and doesn't entirely care what others think of me within certain boundaries.

I certainly don't feel like sharing those things has done me any harm, and I don't think it's harmed other people.

A problem arises when we get comfortable with sharing things that others aren't comfortable with hearing.

I don't think that this is usually me, but it certainly applies to some people I know. In cases where our comfort zone might be a bit bigger than others' comfort zones,it is important to exercise sensitivity.

We can't demand that others accommodate our quirks.

We need to find the middle ground between being true to yourself and being sensitive to the needs of others.

But it is also important not to compromise who we are.

If we're closed with some people and open with others, I feel that we run the risk of becoming two-faced.

I want to be the same person in class that I am with my close friends, even if it means making others uncomfortable on occasion.

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