Too Personal for Twitter? Journal It!

Guest Writer Mari McCarthy

Today’s guest post is written by Mari L. McCarthy, author and journaling therapy expert.

One lucky reader will be picked at random from your comments to win a copy of Mari’s latest book Who Are You? How to Use Journaling Therapy to Know and Grow Your Life, a gentle process for self discovery through journaling.

Too Personal for Twitter? Journal It!

Many millions of us are having a wonderful time with social media. We love sharing our daily lives with others. We like recommending great reads or new products. We appreciate being able to talk about how life is treating us, in mini-posts to friends and followers.

Though Twitter has become increasingly commercial, it is still a great vehicle for all the minutia of your days. People greet one another in the morning and say goodnight before retiring. They talk about their current tasks and pre-occupations. They post snapshots, jokes, comments. The same goes for Facebook, Google+, and most other social networks.

And we have to admit that we love sharing in this way. It’s cathartic to be able to express so prolifically, to make connections so readily, to exchange with others so constantly. The habit brings us vast learning, many new friends, and a certain personal satisfaction from the regular self-expression.

So in some ways, participating in social media may seem like journaling.

But there’s an important distinction. Online, your activity is social. In your personal journal, what you are doing could be called the opposite of social. You are in a private place, speaking to yourself; you are not limited by any social rules. So from this point of view, journaling and social media are at opposite poles.

Because journaling is for yourself alone, you can talk about far more intimate subjects, reveal far more depth of detail, achieve heights of authenticity that even the most enthusiastic social media guru can’t touch.

In your journal, you can also wander aimlessly, something that’s sure to lose your audience if you do it online. Your spelling and grammar can be atrocious, your handwriting illegible. What’s more, you can doodle in the margins. (When the internet figures out a way to let us doodle in the margins, I’ll revisit this article.)

Another key distinction between social media and journaling is that – because it is social, I suppose – online updates are uniformly positive in attitude and tone. It’s rare, even, to know a person’s political leanings, much less their bad luck stories or their foul moods through your online relationship. If you know someone exclusively via Twitter or Facebook, you are very likely to know only their best public side; you remain in ignorance about their failings at least until the conversation moves to a more private arena.

While mindfully cultivating a positive attitude can turn a person’s life around, being willing to look your more negative thoughts and experiences in the eye is a key part of self-development. We know that suppressing feelings can cause depression and other illnesses. Talking about the dark side may be taboo online, but your journal is always calmly and kindly receptive. Using its pages as the vehicle for your moods of all kinds brings you to a transcendent awareness, and a new power over your emotions.

On the internet, there are pockets of real life that will never be shared openly. Therefore, despite the web’s awesome usefulness, personal journaling is still critical to the balanced life.


Connect with Mari

Mari blogs at

Mari’s latest publication is Your Money Matters! Use Journal Writing Therapy to Get Financially Fit Now (more details on Mari’s website Create Write Now)

Book Giveaway

If you would like to win a copy of Mari’s e-book Who Are You? How to Use Journaling Therapy to Know and Grow Your Life  then either leave a comment below telling us how you have benefited or think you might like to benefit from journaling, or share your experiences of using Twitter or another social media platform as a journaling tool.

Double your chances of winning by leaving a comment on the JBBC Facebook page where we will be giving away another copy of this terrific e-book!

Good Luck!