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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Oversharing, Exorcists, and Ransom Notes

I'm a bit of a newbie when it comes to large-scale social media stuff. Most of the people I know on facebook and twitter are people I've met face-to-face first, and then added on those sites to keep in touch. So learning how to meet people in the eUniverse is something I'm still getting used to. 

To help, I’ve been stalking some of the more effective social networkers. I’ve been watching their tweets, and checking out their blogs, and visiting their face book pages. In the course of all that, while I have seen some interesting things, there’s one thing I would like to say 
to everyone who is an active social networker:


I get uncomfortable when my closest friends tell me about their medical conditions. When a Twitter pal or Facebook friends busts out the details of a rash they picked up while backpacking across Europe, I reach for the UNFOLLOW/UNFRIEND button pretty quick.

In recent days, between Facebook, and Twitter, I’ve seen posts about bladder infections, kidney stones, rashes, discharge (*shudders*), stubborn pimples, dandruff. And those are just tweets and posts. I’m not even talking about the pictures that people share where all I can think is: What were you thinking uploading that?

On a positive note, I will probably remember those people. So they’ve achieved a goal of at least setting themselves away from the pack. On a negative note, however, if I ever found myself sitting across from them at a conference or workshop, I might wonder if it’s safe to shake their hands.

So please, feel free to tell us that you’re pregnant, just not how it happened. Tell us you’re not feeling good, but don’t post pictures of your rashes. You know what, just pretend you’re standing in a room with a couple hundred people, and all of them are listening to what you’re saying . . . because, YOU ARE!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure it’s easy to get caught up in the moment and overshare by accident. I could, for example, tell you that the last time I changed my son’s diaper I seriously considered the need to hire an exorcist. EVIL, that was the only explanation for what he’d created. Pure, unadulterated E V I L !!!    But I wouldn’t do that. That would be oversharing, and we’re not doing that here . . . .

What can we do, Steve? If we have friends who overshare on social media, how can I stop them without hurting their feelings?

Never fear, I have the solution, and it’s simple. Just send this letter to every person you know who overshares. Together, we can make social media a less awkward place.


History Sleuth said...

Well twitter does have one good thing over FB. You only have 140 spaces in which to say something. I hate viewing FB arguments and no I will not hook up with your family thingy and tell you my birth date and who I'm related to. Really?

Steven W said...

@history Sleuth - too true! Maybe twitter should penalize people who overshare by cutting their character-limit in half or something. And I agree about FB arguments. Especially when it's people who know each other, and still insist on arguing via public message.

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