Pamela Chan, BCFamily.ca/ Editorial

Recently, I was surprised to learn that some people in my closest inner circle didn’t know core information about me such as the major I took while completing an undergraduate degree; which types of jobs I’ve focussed on in my career; and, other information about what I thought were my well known talents.

How could it be possible that I spend so much time with people and yet this type of information isn’t known?

The reality is that I often find myself learning information about other people after I have known them for some time.  Or I find out that someone I know has been working on a special project or skill for years but I’m only just hearing about it.

Have you had similar experiences?

When we do have conversations in person and online that touch on the personal and private areas of our lives, what are we discussing? Many people will agree that as you age, it’s hard to forge deep friendships with people that we meet. Meanwhile, online many people are refraining from sharing personal information on their private social media pages in response to accusations that are levied against “those people” who showcase and grandstand online. Hands up here – I’ve been called a “Mama Bear” for posting photos of my twins when they were babies.  And most people will tell you that I do not share photos of my children on my personal social media page that often. I’d argue that the accusations that get tossed about aren’t fair but that’s another discussion.  In 2017, social media users – myself included – prefer to share links to news stories, memes and general information.  Of the last five updates that I shared on Facebook, only one could be called personal. (It was a video of a bear in our front yard.) I like sharing topics about something other than my life but I also wonder if other people’s impression of who I am is hit and miss. Like many people, my contacts online are friends, family and former colleagues who rarely have a chance to see me due to the not so small matter of the miles in between.

Maybe it’s time for a bit more fleshing out over a cup of coffee or online, and less “no words, no explanation” type posts.  The latter have their merits too but not for this topic.

Here is a list of 10 topics that will give your family and friends insight into your private passions and world view.

You’re invited to go to this photo on Facebook and share it to your personal page.  Place your answers in the description that you can add when you share the post.  Your answers can be brief but they don’t have to be.  That’s the point of this exercise.  Less isn’t always more. Then invite a friend or family member to be the next person to participate. (Maybe don’t start with the person who still has a Tintin head for a profile photo 😉 . )

Or if you don’t use Facebook, look at the topics with your friend while you enjoy a coffee or tea together. You can comment about this posting in the comment section below or on the BC Family Facebook page.  Your contribution matters so don’t be shy!


1. I want to start doing / keep doing/ start doing again this talent that others might not know about:

2. If I could travel overseas with my family (or by myself) with no time constraints and the means to do so, this is what I’d like to do:

3. In my city, province/state, country and in other countries, when I’m looking to go to a gorgeous outdoor setting I head to these special spots:

4. My favourite type of art show, literature and/or music are:

5.  New adventures in food/dining that I’m checking out or want to check out are:

6.  My favourite way to socialize with family and friends is:

7. These are the social justice / “make a difference” / “this needs to get better or done” issues that I care about are:

8. These are the characteristics that I value in a friend or family member:

9. This is how and why I use social media. Or this is my preferred way to share information and communicate because I don’t use social media very often:

10. As I get older, I care more about ___ and less about___ :

And here’s a topic that wasn’t included. It’s a nice illustration of how we all have unique viewpoints on topics that are personal to us.