TMI! What counts as 'oversharing' online?


We all do it, whether it's twitter, facebook or blogging we all share so much of our lives online now, but at what point does sharing your life online become oversharing?

Facebook Status updates from last 999 friends’ status

For some people this one is easy, if it's 'personal' it's personal, you shouldn't (they wouldn't) share it online. But, each of us has our own limits and expectations on what we would consider oversharing.

For some the sharing of banal daily activities such as what you are eating for lunch is oversharing, while to others this is just an interesting tidbit that could spark a conversation.

For others it's those attention seeking 'look how sad I am' or 'someone has upset me' posts that go to far, or similarly ranting about other people's behaviour 'so-so and is a plonker' just push peoples buttons and make them long for 'dislike' and 'shut- the-fuck-up' buttons on Facebook (actually tbh twitter should give the option of liking/disliking too I reckon – what do you think?)

Personally the posts that get my goat aren't oversharing in one sense, (although the do tend to suggest a person has far too much time to waste and maybe they should be doing something more productive with their time!?) they are those game playing updates on facebook 'X got 500 poker chips' 'Y has a new animal in their z' blah, blah, blah don't wanna know, don't care – read a book ffs!!?

Of course oversharing really is more about being OTT with the TMI, I recently saw someone I know share a video on facebook of their bowel movements, yep thats right the videoed themselves taking a dump!! I'm pretty sure only the sick and twisted amongst society would NOT consider that as oversharing right?

Some oversharing is done for the greater good, mainly through blogging, as tweets or facebook statuses I think there are things that are saying too much, but sometimes putting these things in a blog post can be helpful, informative and theraputic, such as has been the case for me.

Due to having BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder) and writing about living with this difficult mental health condition on my blog (https://showard76.wordpress.com) I often share far more than the average person about personal things in my life, from relationship issues, to self-harm, abuse and sexual behaviour. In other contexts the things I write on my blog would be considered oversharing but because of the platform and context in which they are shared they are not considered oversharing, instead being more of an outlet for me and a source of support and understanding for others with BPD.

In the end it all comes down to personal preferences and the choice of platform you are sharing on, what is too much in one forum may not be in another and vice versa. You just have t get the balance right, of course it also helps to think before you post, and maybe posting when drunk, angry or upset is not a good idea as these posts are likely to be oversharing in some respect! πŸ˜‰

What do you think?

At what point does sharing your life online become oversharing in your opinion?

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14 comments on “TMI! What counts as 'oversharing' online?

  1. Good post. People do share too much online and it often gets them in trouble. Actually, your post has inspired me to write one as well and I’ll post that today or tomorrow.

    Let me answer your question: “At what point does sharing your life online become oversharing in your opinion?”

    My answer: It depends.

    Both you and I have BPD and we have posted so much personal information about our mental illness to the world. Anyone who has a computer can log on and read information about our childhood, our romantic endeavors, our struggles with all sorts of daily events and more. We have put our soul up here for the world to view. And why do we do it? What do we expect from doing it? I just don’t know.

    Maybe we want that precious unconditional love from a massive amount of people.
    Maybe we just want to relieve some boredom.
    Maybe we think by doing this we’ll heal.
    Or maybe it’s an insatiable need for attention.

    I’m not clear why we do it. But we keep doing it and we probably won’t stop anytime soon.

    • Thanks Jaen πŸ™‚ I look forward to reading your post!

      For me blogging about BPD started as a release, then exploration and personal therapy, by then I discovered that others were finding what I say helpful either personally as fellow BP’s or as non-bp’s trying to understand a loved one so helping others became an important part of what I was sharing.

      My only real concern about how much I share is the possible impact on a career should a boss or business customers/colleagues read and judge – but I guess that’s just something I will have to deal with ‘if’ it happens!

      I write less often now but won’t stop completely as even though things are better I think I can still share helpful stuff about the continuing battle to remain well πŸ™‚ x

  2. Yea, I think people share too much online. Including myself. Every day.

    Somehow connected – I was standing at a bus stop the other day. A woman just got up, walked around the back of the bus stop (clear glass) and took a ‘number 2’. Stood up, came back around and sat again on the bus stop seats. Whaaaa?!!

    X

  3. Great topic for a post, since people certainly DO overshare online–I’m amazed at what people will put out there, given that they may later be applying for a job or something of the sort, and there’s their whole sordid history out there for anyone to see. What IS reasonable to put out there to get support, and what is, indeed, TMI? Good points–and excellent dialogue.

    • Thanks Candida, indeed as I said in reply to Jaen’s comment the idea of the future impact of work is my biggest concern about having shared so much myself!

  4. Sometimes, when I’m commenting or posting, something goes Amis and it doesn’t post. As I frustratedly sit back grumbling to myself about having to retype it all back in, I stop and realize that it may be the universe’s way of telling me that I was about to share too much personal information. I am then able to let it go and not retype anything.

  5. This is great Sharon as I think it’s a big issue. And speaking of sharing, I’m going to share this with my BPD and see what conversation develops. Thanks πŸ™‚

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