M: Can there be such a thing as oversharing? Yes. The different social media platforms, particularly Facebook, have caused some people who might usually just say hi or hello to you to overshare what is happening or not happening in their lives when they post online. I think most people would agree that oversharing is a problem. Friends have been unfollowed or blocked because of too much information or misinformation. My main concern with some people I know who overshare is that although it’s their wall and their post, they should be mindful of their security when using social media.
DJ: We’re now more likely to hear news about our friends’ and families’ lives on social media than we are in-person. And as we know, being able to share not just our highs but also our lows to select friends and family is key to strengthening our ties with them. But like our real-life relationships, it matters that we do this with our online friends with care.
M: Have you ever felt that you know too much about a person from what she or he posts to the point that it makes you uncomfortable? Anything we post on the internet is in the public domain, even if we use privacy settings. Instead of telling the entire universe the day-to-day, minute-by-minute details of your life, work, personal relationships etc., why not talk to your hubby or a close friend while you share a cup of coffee? This will give you and your 1,000 friends and counting on Facebook some time to decompress from the information overload. Oversharing isn’t just annoying. It highlights you as a potential data mining or phishing victim.
DJ: Yeah, we all know at least one person who give minute-by-minute details of their lives, that of their kids or those who post endless selfies. But I’ve been trying not to judge people, whether in social media or not. Now if people find what other people post to be annoying, they can always unfollow while keeping online friendship in place. What I can offer, though, are these commonly suggested do’s and don’ts. (1) Don’t post anything at the height of your emotion. (2) Keep private matters private. Not only will our posts affect relationships but career opportunities too. (3) Call or use Messenger to resolve conflict. Keeping the conversation to just those involved reduces the chances of pulling others who are not part of the issue in the first place.
M: The questions is why do some people overshare? Research conducted in 2011 concluded that people primarily overshare and pass on information because of their emotional state at the time of posting the information. What you decide to share on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks is a personal choice and as a result, different people have different ideas over what constitutes oversharing. Nevertheless, it is good to be mindful that you have to be willing to live with the consequences of oversharing. To quote Warren Buffett, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and only five minutes to ruin it.”
DJ: We’re often advised in our real relationships to pause before opening our mouths. The same holds true for social media. Pause before you click. The need for tact and balance remains. And fortunately or unfortunately, it’s still largely common sense.