We’ve all been there: a few too many glasses of wine, a moment of frustration, an emotional outburst too far…
Social media is a wonderful thing, it provides a powerful set of tools that can connect us to pretty much everyone we’ve ever met (and people we haven’t). But like all great things, it can come with its own set of dangers.
In my mind, one of the biggest threats to you on the Internet is… well, you – in the wrong mood! Here are five types of social media overshares to avoid!
Bodily functions / medical issues
I don’t believe there’s anything I haven’t seen on Facebook, from pre-natal posts about placenta (really) to pictures of hairy bumholes (gross) and much more.
Posts about bodily functions and medical issues range from the straight up overshare (oh em gee, my period is soooo heavy this month – because everyone needs to know) to the bizarre soliciting of unqualified medical advice from Facebook instead of… ohh, I don’t know, a doctor… (I have this thing on my leg and it keeps growing, should I chant at it or chop it off with a kitchen knife?)
My poetic husband always says that opinions are like assholes (everyone has one). Therefore if you ask a medical question on Facebook, you’re going to get a barrage of advice, 90% of which will be complete crap. I reckon that could potentially be pretty dangerous if you take it seriously, plus everyone will know your business.
I get it. When you’re anxious about a problem you want to crowd source and solve it. When something happens in your body, it’s natural to want to know whether or not it’s “normal”, but do your friends really need to know about that cramp in your groin, or your cervical mucus (seriously – shudder)?
It’s all business… until it’s not
There are several types of work-related overshares, which are arguably more serious than any of the other types of oversharing as they can seriously damage (or even end) your career. From business owners tweeting or Facebooking about difficult customers to disgruntled employees having a moan about work, social media is abuzz with share-before-you-think work posts.
I can recall with a fresh cringe the time I saw a make-up artist get into an honest-to-God war of words with a client on her professional Facebook page, I’ve seen countless acquaintances bitch about their bosses (and I’ve even seen one of them lose their job as a result).
No matter how frustrated you are with your work day, a moment of catharsis could cost you your paycheque – and your professional future. Instead of sharing it with the world, write it down in a word document and then hit delete once you’ve calmed down!
I know SO many couples who are constantly breaking up and getting back together. On Facebook and Twitter. Every moment of their dramatic dynamics are played out in updates.
It might go something like this: she updates that she’s through with him. He comments on it to say good riddance. Some asshole likes his comment.She posts some awkward secrets about his, erm, special bedroom quirks. He deletes her. She blocks him. Cue a week of melancholy Bridget Jones-esque updates about ice cream or something and him relentlessly posting pictures of himself “out on the pull” just to make a point.
Then there’s the inevitable reunion, the loved-up selfies during the honeymoon period, the allusion to all the make-up sex (congratulations) before something goes wrong again and the whole world is informed via social media.
You might think that’s extreme, but it’s totally not uncommon.
Even on a small scale, I see couples playing out the minutiae of their day-to-day domestic drags on Facebook, passive aggressive comments turning into public rants. Not good. Keep it quiet, if it’s official, do it quietly and move on. The bitter look is so last season.
And if you need support after your break up and really don’t feel you can phone your friends, filter your updates to a select group of close friends. At least that way the right people see what’s going on.
There’s always that one person (or maybe more than one) with a little too much time on their hands and no filter. From the snap-happy parent (or parent to be), to the snap-happy pet owner (THAT’S ME, SORRY EVERYONE) to the over-zealous TV viewer or political hack, excessive updates on one topic can be a bit of a snooze-fest for the rest of your news feed.
Having interests and passions is commendable, nobody is saying you shouldn’t be interested in your child or pet (SORRY, SORRY, SORRY) or your TV, or your politics. Nobody is even saying you should never post about them, it’s your life after all. But updating about them every five seconds may fall into some people’s overshare category. Even if my cat is adorable. Fact.
The cryptic rant
You know, someone is really pissing me off today! The cryptic rant is seemingly innocuous, after all, nobody’s naming names, it’s just a harmless way to vent, and maybe even let the person in question know that you’re upset. Who cares? They, deserve it, right?
But that’s what makes it a particularly deadly form of overshare. When you write a cryptic update alluding to a situation where you’re unhappy with someone, everyone, and not just the person at which the status is aimed, in your timeline or feed (or worse, your business feed) is going to assume (or at least worry) that you’re referring to them.
People are self-obsessed creatures really. We’re also insecure. Add these two things together and you can probably guess that putting out there that an unidentified acquaintance has annoyed you will only serve to alienate most of your circle.
Perhaps you need to talk to someone about what’s bothering you and, whether you meant to or not, you’re soliciting reassurance via social media. Put down the keyboard and pick up the phone – that’s what friends are for, after all.
Can you think of any more types of social media overshare? Are you cool with the above of do you wish people would filter their updates more? Are you an advocate of the “don’t like it, don’t look” policy? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment box below.