Being over oversharing
April 13, 2015
I am an avid social media user. I have no shame (okay, a little shame) in admitting that the first thing I do every morning is check the trifecta: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
More often than not, I sit and see what the people in my life are up to. I post pictures when I take good ones and tweet when I’m feeling particularly funny, but usually, I just scroll.
While I scroll, I always seem to see that one person posting constantly about the most recent drama in their life and therefore they earn the title of the oversharer.
Break-ups, fights and all opinions the oversharer has ever had are documented for everyone to see, and I really think it’s time for the oversharing to end.
A couple of days ago, I took to the Quad to see how my fellow Illini felt about oversharing on social media.
Eric Bultman, senior in LAS, said he thinks oversharing is obnoxious.
“(Oversharers) need you to know; they want the feedback,” Bultman said. “They should keep it to themselves. If it gets excessive and it’s someone I’m not really close friends with, I will unfollow them.”
Oversharing is really just that. It is literally over sharing details. It is too much information. It is things that I don’t need to know and really don’t want to know.
Not everyone on your friends list needs to know your boyfriend cheated on you, that you got in a fight with your dad and that you failed your midterm. Feel free to post dozens of funny cat videos, but keep your drama to yourself.
Knowing every detail of an oversharer’s life isn’t just unnecessary, it’s uncomfortable. Often, these people share more information than I know about some of my friends. So, let’s make a new rule: If you wouldn’t share it with a stranger on the street, please don’t post it on Facebook.
“I don’t like sharing a lot of my information,” said Jeanette Bustamante, senior in AHS. “It’s personal.”
Bria Simmons, senior in Business, agrees and said she encounters this situation in her everyday life.
“I put pictures from vacation … but nothing about my man. I’ve got family members, moreso, (that overshare),” Simmons said. “I feel like they overshare, especially about family relationships.”
As people share more and more events and details about their lives, problems can increase. Several studies have shown that oversharing can negatively impact real life relationships. A University of Michigan study strongly linked oversharing on social media to higher levels of narcissism. Jealousy and annoyance can build up and cause more than a virtual unfriending.
Not only is oversharing on social media annoying, but it can also have serious repercussions that extend beyond relationships.
According to a study from Action Fraud, 88 percent of social media users share information that could aid in identity theft. Oversharers are unknowingly handing over valuable information to thieves. The more information they have about you, the more they have to back up their fake identities, and in the words of Dwight Shrute, “Identity theft is not a joke.”
Posting about every second of your day can also get you into trouble at work. Venting about work in a Facebook message or posting an Instagram with friends while you’re supposed to be out sick can come back to your boss. In February, a senior Maryland state corrections official was fired after making an inappropriate joke on Facebook about prison guards; his oversharing cost him his job.
As much as you might think that I care, I don’t need to know what you had for breakfast or that you served it to your girlfriend in bed. In fact, people like me may start to pull away from oversharers online and in-person.
Let’s band together and put an end to oversharing.
Sam is a sophomore in Media.