When it comes to oversharing on Facebook, I offer one desperate plea: please stop. Oversharing has become epidemic on social media. Seriously guys, I don’t need to know what you had for breakfast, nor do I need to know about the intestinal cramping which resulted. I’m delighted and overjoyed you had a baby — by all means, post pictures. I can do without hourly updates on her sleep patterns, however.
I speak as a reformed oversharer. My posts used to be frequent updates on the health of my cat, the meals I ate (with pictures) and the weather. My profile included all those auto-updating apps: Adrienne just watched Vampire Diaries on Facebook! Adrienne just played a game of Bejeweled! Adrienne just read an article on Yahoo News! I swear if there’d been an app out there that gave updates when I washed the car, it would have been active on my profile.
Realizing You Have a Problem is Half the Battle
My friends gave me an oversharing intervention. They didn’t do this en masse — instead I received the word from individuals that maybe, just maybe, I was using Facebook with a surfeit of enthusiasm.
Some were subtle, changing how often they received updates from me. This proved ineffective, as I didn’t notice. Others were somewhat more aggressive — one organized a “TMI” campaign, calling me out whenever I shared something which, in fairness, no-one needed to know about. A few were hypocritical, accusing me of information onslaught while posting a steady stream of photos of their puppy.
Still, the point was made. My friends still wanted to hear anything interesting had to say, but the information I was imparting was anything but. For instance, knowing I was driving a bulldozer (my brother Quinn rents them) at high speed down Main Street was interesting (and possibly life-saving considering I know nothing about operating heavy machinery). Posting I gained a pound last week because of a fast food binge? Not so much.
My first step down the road to oversharing recovery was the equivalence of the reformed drinker pouring liquor down the sink. I removed all sharing apps from my profile. If I kept an app, I checked to see if I could stop it from informing people of every move I made.
Facebook apps are terrible for oversharing. Do I really need to announce every movie I watch on Netflix’s streaming service? Given my love of low-grade horror shows, did I really want to? The shows may be all about zombies and gore, but some of the titles listed in my automatic updates alarmed my rather conservative mother (on a related note, never friend your mother unless you want to rethink every word of every post you ever make).
Still, I can’t blame it all on apps. That’s like a crack addict blaming the drug. I had to take responsibility for myself. I swore to restrict my posts to less than three a day. Commenting on other people’s posts was fine, but my own updates had to be more interesting than what I had for dinner.
I still post about my cat’s health though. Poor thing has a skin condition…