Please shut up!

Excuse what is probably about to be a disjointed rant, but I need to work through a few things. If you are a regular reader, you may recall that I was dealing with a staff shortage at my job and needed to do some hiring. Well, I did hire some folks but to be honest I am scratching my head. Maybe I am showing my age, but what is it about the current state of society that makes folks just get diarrhea of the mouth? Diarrhea is described as a condition of excessive frequent and loose bowel movements. As of late I keep running across folks who seem to have this condition when it comes to talking…its uncontrollable and apparently no one ever told them that over sharing is a bad thing. In fact over sharing with people who employ you is a really bad thing.

Case in point, one of my new staffers on her first day decided to prattle on about her broken computer going so far as to ask if I could be a reference so that she can rent a computer. Um…OK. I admit it was awkward after all this was her first day at the job, she is in the probationary period but I said what the fuck. I admit it was also awkward when she called me one day asking about the local library (what the fuck do I look like the damn welcoming committee?) but today her loose lips almost made me want to punch her in the grill.

My organization held a fundraiser and staff and board members were taking part, and well I overheard a conversation that made me think oh shit! My new staffer was telling the board member about her kids, both who have serious issues and going on and on about how she had been married interracially, the challenges, etc it was really a rather inappropriate conversation to have with someone who doesn’t know you.

This was coupled with my other new staff person telling me and a board member how much the kids like her because well… she is great. No, I am not kidding that is what she said, at first I thought she was kidding but then I remembered she actually said how great she is yesterday. Maybe it’s my age but last I checked walking around saying folks just love me because I am great is one of those social no-no’s.

Mind you in my line of work I encounter people on a regular basis who share details of their lives that frankly I don’t need to know. I also have a few personal friends who are prone to over sharing and frankly unless you are a close friend I don’t need to know about your sex life, poor finances, drug habits or any of that. I was raised that the only people you share such intimate details with are folks who share your bed, some family members and friends that might as well be family members. I know as women we like to share intimate details but telling another woman how well your man satisfies you in bed is really a bad idea. Not to say you can’t trust your friends but I learned the hard way years ago when a girlfriend decided to hit on my then ex boyfriend. After all I had shared some details about him that made him quite attractive, thankfully my ex-boyfriend was a good guy and told her to push off but still I doubt she would have tried to hit on him in the first place if I hadn’t offered up such juicy details. The friend in question is still in my life but I keep my intimate details to myself.

In some ways I think our current use of social media has helped break down what used to be good ole fashioned common sense. I mean we can log onto Facebook and share every and any thing with folks; I have a few folks on Facebook who I have had to hide because I do not want nor need to know all those details about you. I don’t think that it’s a coincidence that many of the folks I know who are prone to over sharing online have struggled in finding jobs. Hello!!!! Perspective employers today are using social media to check you out and guess what it can come back to bite you in the ass. There have been many pieces written about this and despite the fact that many HR professionals admit that they do Google perspective candidates, we still have folks who just get online diarrhea and continue to over share.

I admit it is tempting to over share especially online yet I always keep in mind that I never want to post anything that can come back to bite me in the ass and that my online persona is exactly the same as the me you can meet in real life. So for me if I am not willing to babble all the details of my life if we were face to face, why do it online? Look, sharing ourselves with others is a great way to connect with other people but there is a fine line between sharing and over sharing. If ever the voice in your head says shut up…guess what? It may be time to shut up.

Edited to add, whenever someone over shares or worse yet gets nosy with me I am tempted to start singing that line from Ludacris “Get back muthafucker, you don’t know me like that”  Yeah, it’s probably childish but that line does say something when you stop and think about it.

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