Something About the Word “Sharing”

By Nan Zhong

My Weibo profile

The Medium site is the first place I talk about myself this much.

I love social media. In China, I use WeChat, Weibo, and Douban. Now I start to use Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. I share a lot of things on internet, the photography work I made, the short story I wrote, and some jokes of course. But there are two things I won’t share basically, the selfies (I’ve told the reason), and my private life.

Let’s go back to the word “sharing”. No matter how intimate you feel with somebody, there must be something you won’t share with. Which kind of thing? Those the most precious to you, which you have to totally control, that’s the ownership. Internet is a place nearly no privacy, that’s too dangerous for the ownership.

To myself, the private life is the most precious thing. I cannot share it with the one’s I met randomly on internet. But there are some other things you eagerly want to share with others, is that something you don’t care? Clearly not. So what’s that kind of thing?

Ren Shang is a great novelist I knew for five already. But since I knew her, she earns her life by writing code for web-company, or planning parties for others. What about writing novel? She just post them on her website, and the readers can read them totally free. Shang tried to sell her work to magazine or other publication once, but it didn’t work.

“Every time I commit my work to others, I feel really bad. And since I decided to make a living by writing stories, I cannot write anything anymore.” Shang said to me once.

The most purified intention of posting things on internet is, something you just willing to share with others. And the most purified intention of the ownership is something you really care about, and precious. But when people post things on internet, then emphasizes the ownership, just because they want to be famous, or earn money by the “posting”, is that still “sharing”? I don’t think so.

Social media is a place for sharing, people shouldn’t emphasizes “ownership” here. And if you decided share things on it, don’t be sorry if someone else takes it. As for the ownership? Just deal with it yourself.