How to Know When You’re Oversharing

Photo courtesy of Flickr Commons, modified by Curiousmatic.

 Oversharing: We’ve all seen it, most of us have done it, and some are guilty beyond measure. How to spot an oversharer, deal with an oversharer, and avoid becoming one yourself.

With social media comes the ability to broadcast whatever one’s fancy may be across a (possibly) vast digital community. Over-sharing, for the most part, is a social irritation, but can also be a serious problem when it exposes enough personal information to put the poster at risk, or incriminate their or someone else’s behavior.

Whether a person is disclosing their location, feelings, meal, or activity, it is key in online conduct to be conscious about what we are posting, and how it affects ourselves and others. Here’s a guide to how to spot an oversharer, and what to do if the oversharer is you:

How to Spot an Oversharer

Oversharing comes in many shapes and forms. Here’s what to look out for:

1. Like-collectors: Often falling also under the category of emotional hoarders, these people are obsessive over getting likes, sometimes to the point in which their post is literally asking to be liked rather than actually containing interesting content. Like-collectors post because they feel they need online appreciation in order to feel valuable.

If you are this person, a like or retweet is not something that cashes out in the real world. Stop trying to please people, and focus on the real-life you!

2. Overly-Political Relatives: We all have at least one relative that can’t go a couple hours without sharing one-sided, misinformed, and often offensive statements regarding his or her political views. Often, these people don’t realize that they have friends that don’t share their opinions. Other times, they  just don’t care.

If you are this person, stop to consider how you would feel if someone was erratically spewing beliefs that belittled your own, and find a more productive space to discuss politics.

3. Parents: Parents are often the most guilty over-sharers, and for good reason. While any good parent thinks that their kid is the best thing on earth, you can be 100% sure their friends don’t care half as much about how their newest toddler’s potty training is or isn’t going.

If you are this person, it’s okay to post pictures of your kid; lots of people love babies! Just understand that what is normal for a parent can be unappealing to outsiders, and sometimes, when it comes to gritty details, less is more.

Photo courtesy of Amy Entwistle via Flickr, modified by Curiousmatic.

4. Status-Journalers: These are the people who seem to have mistaken Facebook for their personal diary. Status-journalers will dutifully keep their social media communities updated with what they’re doing, how they are feeling, what they’re eating, who they are with, and so forth. They think that this is normal. Mostly, it’s banal and uninteresting.

If you are this person, buy a journal, or start a blog! Though there is nothing wrong with updating social media frequently, the number of people who care that you had toast for breakfast might suggest you switch to quality content over quantity.

5. Thoughtless Kooks: Reserved for last, thoughtless kooks are the few people that fail to think rationally before posting and face consequences accordingly. They might post bad things about their boss, information incriminating them or other people, or content that is offensive, embarrassing and unflattering.

If you are this person, do everyone and yourself a favor, and learn from your mistakes.

Rule of Thumb

In order to avoid being any type of oversharer, consider three things before sharing:

  1. Why am I posting this? If it’s only for self validation, you might want to rethink your motives.
  2. Could this offend or embarrass anyone? Put yourself in the shoes of your friends and followers. If it could be taken the wrong way, it might be best to backtrack.
  3. Will this be of interest to others? Sharing is all about informing and enlightening others via content they will enjoy, care about, or want to respond to, whether it’s about yourself or the world. The key to appropriate sharing is fighting the narcissistic urges social media perpetuates, and limiting yourself to things that matter.

Know any other ways to spot an oversharer? Tweet us @curiousmatic!

Jennifer Markert