Oversharing online? Is it possible?

Tis the season for separations or marital disharmony, everywhere I look it seems once happily partnered couples are calling it quits or taking breaks to reassess their relationships. I suppose it is a sign of growing older especially in my circle, where most of my core folks are in the 35-45 range.

I have actually spent most of my adult life married, while the first marriage fizzled when my son was thirteen months old; it actually took years to have the union legally ended due to our inability to agree on anything. So by the time I was legally free of husband number one, I was actually already planning the upcoming union to the current Mr. BGIM. I imagine that sounds bad to some but life is messy like that.

The thing about marriage or unions is that when we are partnered with someone especially when it was supposed to be a lifetime deal, that relationship is a part of who we are. Sure we strive not to lose ourselves because well it’s not all that happy to do so but the person who shares your life is a huge part of your world. Much like when you become a parent, kids too take over your life.

So when love goes a tad sour like that jug of milk from two weeks ago, it is hard to not discuss it at some point. I mean sure you might be having some issues but when the issues rise to the level that someone needs to leave the house, it becomes hard to not share it with the world and sometimes the ensuing messiness that happens in the aftermath.

Queen of the mom bloggers, Dooce recently revealed that she and her husband have separated and while I have yet to see anyone speak nasty about the split, some have questioned whether or not she gave us more than we (the reading public) needed to know. I have seen many a reference to oversharing, call me crazy but anyone with the guts to share publicly about mental health issues probably is someone who is okay with sharing the general messiness of life. Part of Dooce’s success frankly is because she does share, most of us don’t, so when we read the parts that Dooce is comfortable giving it feels like overkill. Yet is it really overkill?

Now if you have a certain type of job or lifestyle, maybe there is a thing as too much sharing, hell I have been accused of oversharing on this blog. Yet you can trust that for what I do feel comfortable putting out for public consumption, there is more that I know is no one’s business. In the case of bloggers who rise to prominence by sharing their lives with us, not sharing actually is a lot harder to do. The thing is in the case of Dooce, she and her husband built their media empire, so it makes sense based off what they both have publicly shared that they reached the point they needed to tell the world they are taking a break. I imagine that behind the scenes long before they made the announcement that they were separating that there was plenty we will never know. Thus making claims of oversharing seem strange to say the least, yes in the post she wrote informing us they were separating she made reference to possible suicidal ideation but even that doesn’t seem terribly strange for someone who publicly has admitted struggling with mental health issues to the brink of hospitalization. I read her entire post less as a cry for help but more like, here I am.

Sure we live in a time when it appears that everyone is blabbing their business and yes those of us who blog often do share, but I believe in most instances we do know the line between what is fit for public consumption and what is not. The flip side for many of us who do share publicly is that often times we share because it keeps us honest and authentic. Personally the older I get, the more comfortable I get in my skin, the less I care about the judgment of others yet I do know that holding back can be hazardous to me in numerous ways.


So the next time you wonder is So and So oversharing, think more deeply….look none of us want to know the details of last night’s orgy yet truthful sharing about real life shit should never be made to feel dirty.

PS: I won’t bug you daily about this, but do consider helping send this blogger to a few conferences this year. Read more here, to date I’ve raised $100 in donations and still have a way to go. Any and all help is greatly appreciated.

1 thought on “Oversharing online? Is it possible?”

  1. It no longer surprises me when people think my “over-sharing” is me being without personal boundaries. It’s true, as someone who shares personal information online, choosing what not to share is sometimes more challenging than what I do want to share.

    You’ve mentioned this before, but back in the 90s we had it so easy… we could say anything to anyone anywhere online and at the time only the most committed computer geeks could track it down. Of course, that stuff is all still out there now, too.

    My litmus test for sharing or not sharing is, “Will this feel right to me?” I can’t go with “will my parents/employers/former husband/friends freak out” as my guide because I’d maybe never share anything every again.

    My major goal, though, is to only share about me. My inner world. It’s difficult, because life is about interactions. But it’s very important to me not to share other people’s lives online because that isn’t a decision for me to make for them. It’s their decision.

    As usual, I loved this post. (fwiw, commenting on blog posts is something I’m just easing back into after a little ‘net break… this space feels pretty safe. So, thank you for that.)

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