Thursday, May 1, 2014

Oversharing Online: SOAPBOX

It's soapbox time.

I hate facebook.

It's not facebook's fault. It's a social connection tool. Awesome, I get it. But it has been abused.
Terribly terribly abused.
Now I won't even get into the bane of "Hit 'like' if you love your dog, ignore if you want your dog to get hit by a car and die within an hour" type posts. Those are super annoying, and also a good reason to abandon facebook, but they are not my main gripe today.


What do I mean?
It's your friend who posts every gut-wrenching detail from their family's stomach flu outbreak. It's the old classmate who constantly complains about the weather, their job, their car, how exhausted they are, etc. It's your friend who insists on sharing every picture taken at their 3 day wedding extravaganza that they did themselves from Pinterest, using Mason jars, fedoras, gluten- and dairy-free everything from scratch, and locally sorced wildflowers harvested ethically.
We get it.
You're life is suuuuuuuuuper important.

Well just get over it and delete them from your friends' list, or hide their feed, you say.

This post isn't for you then, bossy britches. I have a feeling you might be the oversharer if you feel that way.

This blog post is meant for the rest of us, those fed up with the minefield of their daily newsfeed.

I actually quit logging onto facebook because I didn't want to deal with it. So many of my facebook "friends" would post everytime their children are sick, and in minute detail. I personally couldn't handle the anxiety, regardless of their proximity to me.
I feel bad, because I would like to see cute baby pics, hear about who is getting married, etc, but not enough to deal with the anxiety mess that I always end with.

And besides, if they are not good enough friends with me to tell me in person or over the phone/email about their exciting news, then I don't even care that much.

What is it about this social platform that makes people want to overshare? Or is it certain personality-types who are driven to pollute this media with the oversharing?

Maybe it's the thought- well they are my friends, so they want to know what's going on in my life, and if they don't, then they can unfriend me.
That is a good point.
But the overshare is never-
"I am so constipated- omg I need to take some stool softener stat"
"I had some awesome sex with a random stranger last night- thanks Bacardi!"
"My cramps are so bad I could punch a bitch, no seriously. Come at me"
It's not that these people overshare every last detail. There is still (thank God) some level of appropriateness.
I just don't know why some people can comprehend what is appropriate to a certain degree, but be flagrant in other areas.
This just in-
NO ONE wants to hear about your bodily secretions or the bodily secretions of anyone in your family. Trust me.
Did you have a gorgeous baby, a lovely honeymoon, some awesome GlamourShots? Please, post one or two of the highlights. NO ONE wants to scroll through 100 pictures. Well, I want those pictures saved online, you say. There are only about 1000 different options now to do so. Dropbox, Snapfish, Kodak, what have you. Those would be an awesome way to make sure you have a saved copy.
Was there a delicious sandwich at lunch?
Enjoy it and stop taking damn pictures of it. Seriously  NO ONE cares about your sandwich.

This would be an excellent post to discreetly share on facebook if you have friends who are guilty of these things, but you are too polite to call them out.

Or you can do like I do, and avoid. At all costs.

Although I had a brilliant idea (thank you, self. You are welcome, smart self.).
We need it to be required that all posts are tagged in a specific way.
Posting something happy, like a wedding, a baby, a new job? Then you select "happy".
Posting something sad, like a puppy dying, spilling your coffee, student loans? Select "sad".
Posting some illness plaguing your family or friends, like cancer, the flu, pink eye? "Illness".

There could be several categories, or it could even lump "illness" into "sad"
(and as a side note, "we are finally recovering from 4 days of puking our guts up" is not "happy", ok?).

That way, if you are having a shitty day and want to punch someone in the face because your ovaries are exploding or some jerk cut you off in traffic, you could hide everything labeled "happy" so you don't feel the need to consume 3 milkshakes.
Or, if you are needing a pick-me-up and want to see happy puppies and smiling babies, you can select "happy".

Seriously, how great would that be to filter out all the unwanted brain rot?

And while we are at it, how about a feature to "hide" every single forward someone shares, or score from some stupid online game, or anything that Snopes would rule out as false?

Then again, I hear facebook is a dying medium- that growing numbers of teenagers don't even know what it is. I guess they are snapchatting or tweeting or insta-whatevering.

So this is just a big soapbox rant.

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