Sunday, January 24, 2010

Overshare

Some weeks ago, a woman tweeted about the death of her two year old and got a ton of grief from her followers instead of the emotional support she was possibly seeking. The comments on this story depict the wide range of positions people hold on the issue. The overwhelming consensus being that she was criminally negligent and should have been spending her time watching the child rather than tweeting. But what really upset folks was the fact she tweeted right after the crisis with a "please pray" message.

Social media etiquette is still in the early stages of evolution and people are still figuring out the role it plays in their lives. The very notion of privacy is in upheaval. We are in a world where one can have several thousand friends and followers on-line with whom they share (and frequently overshare) their lives with. Until this tragedy happened this woman would have been considered socially adept and well connected but it took a few minutes to change all that.

I know from my own experience (which is nothing nearly as difficult as this woman's who lost her two year old) that in difficult time, I have felt a compulsion to share too much. It did not bother me that I was saying things to strangers that I would have in another life never shared even with close family and friends.

There was so much bottled up inside, that I was bursting to tell - to get out in the open, be heard. It was a lot of delirious, repetitive rambling for the most part. I must have estranged a many friends in the process - there is only so many times anyone can hear you rehash the most painful event of your life. Even at that cost, it was helpful for me. The fever of anger and grief subsided over time and with it my tendency to talk too much and overshare.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

" I have felt a compulsion to share too much. It did not bother me that I was saying things to strangers that I would have in another life never shared even with close family and friends.

There was so much bottled up inside, that I was bursting to tell - to get out in the open, be heard. It was a lot of delirious, repetitive rambling for the most part. I must have estranged a many friends in the process - there is only so many times anyone can hear you rehash the most painful event of your life. Even at that cost, it was helpful for me. The fever of anger and grief subsided over time..."

Thank you so much ! Your kind words played no small part in giving solace to me.