The Art of the Overshare

Altitude Branding - The Art of the OvershareI’m fascinated by how people choose what to share online, and what people’s tolerance boundaries are for what they see and read.

For example, I am inspired and moved by people like @Stales and @thatdrew who share their very difficult and personal battles with cancer, and how they work to rally awareness and support for cancer prevention and cures. But someone ruminating about their bothersome UTI or kidney stone? Not nearly as attractive or inspirational a conversation.

A tweet about a bad day or the occasional blog rant can elicit support, encouragement, feedback, and tighten connections and friendships around shared frustrations or challenges. A stream of negativity, crabbiness, and persistent downers? Critics that rarely contribute? Not only does it get tiresome, but it often turns me off completely, which means I might miss something smart because I just stop listening. Does that happen to you?

Folks have livestreamed weddings and even childbirth, and find outpourings of interest and support (though I’m sure they both have their critics). But I don’t know if we’d find the same reactions to, say, a detailed Twitter blow-by-blow of your annual colonoscopy. Unless you’re Katie Couric. And then, apparently, it’s okay to even do it on national TV.

I know there isn’t a right answer here, because everyone’s tastes and expectations for their online experience are different. So I guess the question really is how do *you* decide what’s sharable for you and what’s not? What’s acceptable to you and what feels like TMI?

Is it your own level of comfort that determines what you share and what you don’t, or are you considering how your sharing might make others feel when you do it? How much is dictated by your professional affiliations and presence? When is talking about something uncomfortable important to raising awareness? Do you find a balance easy, or a challenge?

Just musing here. I’m curious about your take.

image credit: johnsnape

  • http://jamie.sandford.org Jamie Sandford

    Amber, I think you can go back to social models that we’ve had in place before as precedents for what people feel comfortable with in open discussions. You’re always going to have those that can walk up to a stranger and just start talking about some abscess that they have on their toe. Most of us would cringe at that kind of information being given to us unsolicited.

    Even among friends, I might talk about “this thing I had to have done on my foot”, but leave it at that. If my friend really wanted the gory details, then you can share more. If they don’t want it, then you’ve not grossed them out unnecessarily.

    When it come to awareness/causes, I think SM is a great place to point people toward a long-form story that can do justice to the initiative. “Colon cancer is a real issue — Read my story…” and then point readers to your blog. It’s a good balance of giving them to topic, yet letting them decide how deep they want to go.

    As we’ve continued to say, this is a conversational medium. Use some of the same tenets of social conversation used with strangers or friends and most people should be fine.
    .-= Jamie Sandford´s last blog ..Metafolksonomy and the Social Web, part 3: Making It Happen =-.

  • http://jamie.sandford.org Jamie Sandford

    Amber, I think you can go back to social models that we’ve had in place before as precedents for what people feel comfortable with in open discussions. You’re always going to have those that can walk up to a stranger and just start talking about some abscess that they have on their toe. Most of us would cringe at that kind of information being given to us unsolicited.

    Even among friends, I might talk about “this thing I had to have done on my foot”, but leave it at that. If my friend really wanted the gory details, then you can share more. If they don’t want it, then you’ve not grossed them out unnecessarily.

    When it come to awareness/causes, I think SM is a great place to point people toward a long-form story that can do justice to the initiative. “Colon cancer is a real issue — Read my story…” and then point readers to your blog. It’s a good balance of giving them to topic, yet letting them decide how deep they want to go.

    As we’ve continued to say, this is a conversational medium. Use some of the same tenets of social conversation used with strangers or friends and most people should be fine.
    .-= Jamie Sandford´s last blog ..Metafolksonomy and the Social Web, part 3: Making It Happen =-.

  • http://talesofadisorderedeater.org/ Melissa

    I think it depends on the type of blog you have and what your goal is.

    For example, I have a disordered eating recovery blog which, by its very nature, could be considered “TMI” for some people — but those people aren’t likely going to be loyal readers. And if they find my words/experiences “triggering” they shouldn’t read any further. My purpose was to get past my own issues and help others along the way, to shed light on something 60% of women deal with but no one talks about … I wanted to be a voice that talks about the good, the bad, and the ugly re: weight loss and the disordered eating issues that crept into my life as a result.

    So I’m quite transparent … but some things are off-boundaries (my family, my marriage). But for the most part, being so open and honest about my struggles is why I have the loyal readership I have.
    .-= Melissa´s last blog ..LAZY SUNDAY. You heard me –> *LAZY* =-.

  • http://talesofadisorderedeater.org/ Melissa

    I think it depends on the type of blog you have and what your goal is.

    For example, I have a disordered eating recovery blog which, by its very nature, could be considered “TMI” for some people — but those people aren’t likely going to be loyal readers. And if they find my words/experiences “triggering” they shouldn’t read any further. My purpose was to get past my own issues and help others along the way, to shed light on something 60% of women deal with but no one talks about … I wanted to be a voice that talks about the good, the bad, and the ugly re: weight loss and the disordered eating issues that crept into my life as a result.

    So I’m quite transparent … but some things are off-boundaries (my family, my marriage). But for the most part, being so open and honest about my struggles is why I have the loyal readership I have.
    .-= Melissa´s last blog ..LAZY SUNDAY. You heard me –> *LAZY* =-.

  • http://www.socialhealthnut.com Janet Aronica

    This is an important topic, not only for people using things like Facebook and Twitter, but especially for bloggers. I like to share things that are going on in my life because I think that’s a part of my personal brand and not only who I am online, but also who I am IRL. I’m a pretty “open book” type of person. Even still, there are areas of my life I really don’t share with the social media world. But recently, I wrote a blog post for National Eating Disorder Awareness week (I write a blog about fitness & nutrition) and I shared my story of my personal experience, and I found that it was received well and actually got a good conversation started. So there is definitely a benefit to sharing personal information if it is with the intention that your story will resonate with other people and start a conversation, but if you are just ranting and complaining about a situation, it might be better to pull in the reins and not share.

  • http://wellversedmom.wordpress.com/ A Well-Versed Mom

    I’m weary of overshare, particularly on FB. I know a woman who is one of the “downers” you describe, and constantly posts about her many trials and tribulations, including the potential austism diagnosis of her youngest child. It really turns me off, and as a result, I may miss out when she posts actual helpful information about autism research or fundraisers or the like. Which she does – occasionally.

    My daughter has a genetic disease but I only post about it when there’s relevant news or events and I can use my social media network to generate awareness and support. Other than that, I keep it to myself.
    .-= A Well-Versed Mom´s last blog ..What to Expect =-.

  • http://www.socialhealthnut.com Janet Aronica

    This is an important topic, not only for people using things like Facebook and Twitter, but especially for bloggers. I like to share things that are going on in my life because I think that’s a part of my personal brand and not only who I am online, but also who I am IRL. I’m a pretty “open book” type of person. Even still, there are areas of my life I really don’t share with the social media world. But recently, I wrote a blog post for National Eating Disorder Awareness week (I write a blog about fitness & nutrition) and I shared my story of my personal experience, and I found that it was received well and actually got a good conversation started. So there is definitely a benefit to sharing personal information if it is with the intention that your story will resonate with other people and start a conversation, but if you are just ranting and complaining about a situation, it might be better to pull in the reins and not share.

  • http://wellversedmom.wordpress.com/ A Well-Versed Mom

    I’m weary of overshare, particularly on FB. I know a woman who is one of the “downers” you describe, and constantly posts about her many trials and tribulations, including the potential austism diagnosis of her youngest child. It really turns me off, and as a result, I may miss out when she posts actual helpful information about autism research or fundraisers or the like. Which she does – occasionally.

    My daughter has a genetic disease but I only post about it when there’s relevant news or events and I can use my social media network to generate awareness and support. Other than that, I keep it to myself.
    .-= A Well-Versed Mom´s last blog ..What to Expect =-.

  • http://www.obsessedwithconformity.com Jim Mitchem

    I think it comes down how comfortable we are in our own skin. One of the great things about social media for me is that I’ve always been the kind of person who states their mind, regardless of how others might perceive me. This carries over seamlessly from the real world, to this space. Of course this is *not* to say I don’t think about what I’m saying beforehand. I’ve never been one who is too influenced by what people think about me – if I’m true to myself, that’s all that matters. Those people who don’t like what I have to say, don’t have to. And it’s totally cool. But somehow, in social media we seem to lose ourselves and concern ourselves only with how many followers we have. Abe Lincoln nailed it – you can’t please all of the people all of the time. So why do we try to do it here? Numbers, that’s why. There’s a silly perception that numbers define you. I call bullshit. What defines you is what you do and say. And if you’re true to yourself, you’re authentic (transparent) and the people who are supposed to follow you, follow you. You can’t fake authenticity, and when you do – you’re playing the numbers game and you may as well be working for CBS trying to increase viewership to drive up ad sales. But at that point you’re less of a real person, and more of a salesman doing your job in front of the rest of us. If it’s your nature to share a lot, share a lot. No one is forced to do anything they don’t want to here. Including watch or follow.
    .-= Jim Mitchem´s last blog ..When Lilacs Last, I’m Fading Fast =-.

  • http://www.obsessedwithconformity.com Jim Mitchem

    I think it comes down how comfortable we are in our own skin. One of the great things about social media for me is that I’ve always been the kind of person who states their mind, regardless of how others might perceive me. This carries over seamlessly from the real world, to this space. Of course this is *not* to say I don’t think about what I’m saying beforehand. I’ve never been one who is too influenced by what people think about me – if I’m true to myself, that’s all that matters. Those people who don’t like what I have to say, don’t have to. And it’s totally cool. But somehow, in social media we seem to lose ourselves and concern ourselves only with how many followers we have. Abe Lincoln nailed it – you can’t please all of the people all of the time. So why do we try to do it here? Numbers, that’s why. There’s a silly perception that numbers define you. I call bullshit. What defines you is what you do and say. And if you’re true to yourself, you’re authentic (transparent) and the people who are supposed to follow you, follow you. You can’t fake authenticity, and when you do – you’re playing the numbers game and you may as well be working for CBS trying to increase viewership to drive up ad sales. But at that point you’re less of a real person, and more of a salesman doing your job in front of the rest of us. If it’s your nature to share a lot, share a lot. No one is forced to do anything they don’t want to here. Including watch or follow.
    .-= Jim Mitchem´s last blog ..When Lilacs Last, I’m Fading Fast =-.

  • Andrea Meyer

    This is a good discussion topic, although I doubt it will come to a conclusion. As Jamie pointed out above, there are some who open up to strangers in the real world, nevermind about social networks. We have different levels of comfort in sharing just as a matter of course. But, the part that I feel many are forgetting is that these posts live on past present day. The mixing of personal and professional lives is getting messier with time and the younger people have started posting, that much more information is circulating about them. On Facebook, in particular, I am surprised by the amount of detail that friends have posted about their lives and then a week later talk about a job interview. I wonder about how much that potential employer could find by a quick search? I don’t comment (because I’m not their mother) but it does concern me. Blogs are another matter, as the action of subscribing is an opt-in/opt-out and we can determine if an author’s style suits us or not. The longer format is suited for in-depth storytelling and typically a writer seeks to engage the audience with a unique perspective. I hope those continue.

  • Andrea Meyer

    This is a good discussion topic, although I doubt it will come to a conclusion. As Jamie pointed out above, there are some who open up to strangers in the real world, nevermind about social networks. We have different levels of comfort in sharing just as a matter of course. But, the part that I feel many are forgetting is that these posts live on past present day. The mixing of personal and professional lives is getting messier with time and the younger people have started posting, that much more information is circulating about them. On Facebook, in particular, I am surprised by the amount of detail that friends have posted about their lives and then a week later talk about a job interview. I wonder about how much that potential employer could find by a quick search? I don’t comment (because I’m not their mother) but it does concern me. Blogs are another matter, as the action of subscribing is an opt-in/opt-out and we can determine if an author’s style suits us or not. The longer format is suited for in-depth storytelling and typically a writer seeks to engage the audience with a unique perspective. I hope those continue.

  • Elise

    I’ll give a very personal answer here, just about my own boundaries. For personal things, I’m not thinking so much about what others want to hear as what I’m comfortable with.
    About myself: if I wouldn’t feel comfortable shouting it out loud in the street, then I don’t share on the interwebs, whether blog, twitter, facebook. Usually, this leaves me out of anything that might gross out friends, family and strangers
    About my significant other: almost nothing, as his boundaries are way higher than mine. He doesn’t have a cell phone, doesn’t use his Facebook account, etc…
    About my son: Photos from his back only. Some cute stories, cute words, etc… Nothing embarrassing (this is a hard line, trying to figure out what will be embarrassing to him when he’s a teenager – everything I guess!). I haven’t shared anything about potty training, for instance.

    This is Facebook and my blog. As for Twitter, except from what I’m listening to or which tea I’m drinking (because when it’s toooooo goooooood, I need to share), I don’t go personal. I think.

  • Elise

    I’ll give a very personal answer here, just about my own boundaries. For personal things, I’m not thinking so much about what others want to hear as what I’m comfortable with.
    About myself: if I wouldn’t feel comfortable shouting it out loud in the street, then I don’t share on the interwebs, whether blog, twitter, facebook. Usually, this leaves me out of anything that might gross out friends, family and strangers
    About my significant other: almost nothing, as his boundaries are way higher than mine. He doesn’t have a cell phone, doesn’t use his Facebook account, etc…
    About my son: Photos from his back only. Some cute stories, cute words, etc… Nothing embarrassing (this is a hard line, trying to figure out what will be embarrassing to him when he’s a teenager – everything I guess!). I haven’t shared anything about potty training, for instance.

    This is Facebook and my blog. As for Twitter, except from what I’m listening to or which tea I’m drinking (because when it’s toooooo goooooood, I need to share), I don’t go personal. I think.

  • Mike

    I guess I have come to the realization that nothing surprises me anymore as to what people will share. It still comes down to a personal preference if I want to consume that information.

    But on the sharing front, I wonder if there are not two factors at play. First, just like in a B2B model, if SM is where their “audience” is, and those are stories they would tell them in person, then it would make sense they use SM to tell them. Not sure this is totally legit for the people with thousands of follower/friends, but it is something to consider. Second, in certain situation, given our hyper-digital world I wonder if there isn’t a “Share or be Shared” mentality…where if people feel like what they are doing is going to hit the wire, they want to control the message, the story, etc.

    Thanks for the post!

  • Mike

    I guess I have come to the realization that nothing surprises me anymore as to what people will share. It still comes down to a personal preference if I want to consume that information.

    But on the sharing front, I wonder if there are not two factors at play. First, just like in a B2B model, if SM is where their “audience” is, and those are stories they would tell them in person, then it would make sense they use SM to tell them. Not sure this is totally legit for the people with thousands of follower/friends, but it is something to consider. Second, in certain situation, given our hyper-digital world I wonder if there isn’t a “Share or be Shared” mentality…where if people feel like what they are doing is going to hit the wire, they want to control the message, the story, etc.

    Thanks for the post!

  • http://www.copywriteink.blogspot.com Richard Becker

    Amber,

    What a great conversation starter. It’s something I’ve been giving considerable thought to lately.

    I tend to be a relatively private person but authentic in public, but transparent in smaller offline venues (like a class) or one-on-one. It has nothing to do with how comfortable I am about me, as some have suggested.

    Of course, I sometimes make exceptions, when I think it might help motivate people to support a worthwhile cause. But otherwise, I lean private.

    So, for social media to work for me, I tend delineate personal and professional on different networks. I tend to keep my Facebook account, for example, small. Twitter, not so much. The result is that the topics I might engage on with Facebook are broader and Twitter narrower. It’s about that simple, though I just joined Fried Eggs, which I’m not intending to use for professional purposes. So, I’ll see if my approach changes there.

    At the end of the day, it does come down to personal preference. However, I do think that people heavily immersed in social media forget to recognize that most people don’t have the context of a few hundred posts or several thousand tweets. Most only have the post they find today or the tweet they see tomorrow, which matters, except to a very, very small percentage of a population.

    Best,
    Rich
    .-= Richard Becker´s last blog ..Finding Truth Online: People Don’t Want Online Friends For Every Product =-.

  • http://www.copywriteink.blogspot.com Richard Becker

    Amber,

    What a great conversation starter. It’s something I’ve been giving considerable thought to lately.

    I tend to be a relatively private person but authentic in public, but transparent in smaller offline venues (like a class) or one-on-one. It has nothing to do with how comfortable I am about me, as some have suggested.

    Of course, I sometimes make exceptions, when I think it might help motivate people to support a worthwhile cause. But otherwise, I lean private.

    So, for social media to work for me, I tend delineate personal and professional on different networks. I tend to keep my Facebook account, for example, small. Twitter, not so much. The result is that the topics I might engage on with Facebook are broader and Twitter narrower. It’s about that simple, though I just joined Fried Eggs, which I’m not intending to use for professional purposes. So, I’ll see if my approach changes there.

    At the end of the day, it does come down to personal preference. However, I do think that people heavily immersed in social media forget to recognize that most people don’t have the context of a few hundred posts or several thousand tweets. Most only have the post they find today or the tweet they see tomorrow, which matters, except to a very, very small percentage of a population.

    Best,
    Rich
    .-= Richard Becker´s last blog ..Finding Truth Online: People Don’t Want Online Friends For Every Product =-.

  • http://blog.blueskyfactory.com DJ Waldow

    Amber –

    I’m with Jim (& others) on this topic. You have to be comfortable in your own skin (love that phrase – great visual, right?). There are some people – like me – who share like crazy. I’m sure it turns some people off. Check that – I KNOW it turns people off. I get that feedback via Twitter unfollows, blog unsubscribes, etc. I’m cool with that. I can only be who I am, right?

    I do my best to filter (ha ha). I often write an email reply and save it as draft. I sometimes don’t send that tweet even though I really really (REALLY) want to. I’ll often mull over a blog comment before I actually post. Than there are all of the other times where I just post what is on my mind.

    As you know, there is no secret sauce. Just a feeling, right?

    DJ Waldow
    @djwaldow
    .-= DJ Waldow´s last blog ..Calculating Your Marketing ROI in 3 Easy Steps Webinar =-.

  • http://blog.blueskyfactory.com DJ Waldow

    Amber –

    I’m with Jim (& others) on this topic. You have to be comfortable in your own skin (love that phrase – great visual, right?). There are some people – like me – who share like crazy. I’m sure it turns some people off. Check that – I KNOW it turns people off. I get that feedback via Twitter unfollows, blog unsubscribes, etc. I’m cool with that. I can only be who I am, right?

    I do my best to filter (ha ha). I often write an email reply and save it as draft. I sometimes don’t send that tweet even though I really really (REALLY) want to. I’ll often mull over a blog comment before I actually post. Than there are all of the other times where I just post what is on my mind.

    As you know, there is no secret sauce. Just a feeling, right?

    DJ Waldow
    @djwaldow
    .-= DJ Waldow´s last blog ..Calculating Your Marketing ROI in 3 Easy Steps Webinar =-.

  • http://operationwritehome.org Sandy

    Hmmm I’ve thought about this a bit lately. In particular, had a dayjob issue that I didn’t share, because of course workmates would see it, and that’d be all bad. Though if I didn’t have that barrier, I’d likely have overshared. (And yes, I’m glad I’ve got that filter, nobody needed to know what was in my head!)

    The fact that I have donors I’m motivating (in the nonprofit I run) makes me aim toward what will get them thinking. From time to time a little personal overshare begins a deeper discussion about why we’re in the project together, where hiding those things would keep the relationship at a surface level. So I’m fairly strategic in the personal things shared, which borders on manipulation if I think about it too much.

  • http://operationwritehome.org Sandy

    Hmmm I’ve thought about this a bit lately. In particular, had a dayjob issue that I didn’t share, because of course workmates would see it, and that’d be all bad. Though if I didn’t have that barrier, I’d likely have overshared. (And yes, I’m glad I’ve got that filter, nobody needed to know what was in my head!)

    The fact that I have donors I’m motivating (in the nonprofit I run) makes me aim toward what will get them thinking. From time to time a little personal overshare begins a deeper discussion about why we’re in the project together, where hiding those things would keep the relationship at a surface level. So I’m fairly strategic in the personal things shared, which borders on manipulation if I think about it too much.

  • Jen Zingsheim

    Interesting post–Sarah Wurrey and I used to discuss this quite a bit when she was still here at CustomScoop, mostly because we had such different comfort levels about what amounts to appropriate sharing. Her position was that she’s fine being an “open book” online, and shared accordingly. I’m a fairly private person, and have struggled mightily with the adage/assumption that you have to share personal info to be considered effective or knowledgeable about social media. I just don’t buy it.

    I think most people fall somewhere along the spectrum that Wurrey laid out, ranging from “Bunker Dwellers” (i.e., refusal to join social networks–and yes, I do have friends who fall into this category) to the aforementioned “Open Books.”

    Where people fall on this spectrum, how many there are, and what they are willing to share will likely change over time as well. We live in interesting times.

  • Jen Zingsheim

    Interesting post–Sarah Wurrey and I used to discuss this quite a bit when she was still here at CustomScoop, mostly because we had such different comfort levels about what amounts to appropriate sharing. Her position was that she’s fine being an “open book” online, and shared accordingly. I’m a fairly private person, and have struggled mightily with the adage/assumption that you have to share personal info to be considered effective or knowledgeable about social media. I just don’t buy it.

    I think most people fall somewhere along the spectrum that Wurrey laid out, ranging from “Bunker Dwellers” (i.e., refusal to join social networks–and yes, I do have friends who fall into this category) to the aforementioned “Open Books.”

    Where people fall on this spectrum, how many there are, and what they are willing to share will likely change over time as well. We live in interesting times.

  • http://forthewynne.com Katie

    Hey Amber!

    I was just talking about this with a friend the other day. It came up because one of our connections on Facebook is always talking about the awful things that are happening in her life, which we can no longer stand to hear about 18+ times per day. However, here’s the rub: she has great information about local politics and news because of her occupation. So, when do you say that all the negativity is worth it? It’s tough, and we still haven’t made a decision. The last major upset came when she announced via Twitter that she was on the way to get a…very controversial female procedure. Despite your take on the that particular topic, it’s my opinion that your public profile isn’t the best place to share that kind of thing. Some things are better left unsaid.

  • http://forthewynne.com Katie

    Hey Amber!

    I was just talking about this with a friend the other day. It came up because one of our connections on Facebook is always talking about the awful things that are happening in her life, which we can no longer stand to hear about 18+ times per day. However, here’s the rub: she has great information about local politics and news because of her occupation. So, when do you say that all the negativity is worth it? It’s tough, and we still haven’t made a decision. The last major upset came when she announced via Twitter that she was on the way to get a…very controversial female procedure. Despite your take on the that particular topic, it’s my opinion that your public profile isn’t the best place to share that kind of thing. Some things are better left unsaid.

  • http://www.DavideBenjamin.com David Benjamin

    Amber,

    The one area you touched on that bothers me is seeing constant negativity from some of the same people whether it be in a tweet, blog, or some other discussion. I don’t think they’re able to step back and notice how others are viewing them. Sure we all need to vent from time to time but really, that’s normal. I’m talking about day after day, bitching about something instead of focusing on how to be a positive contributor.

    I try to be astutely aware of how I communicate and know when I’m pissed, it might be time to walk away from the computer. There are some things better left unsaid. This might be one of those cases where transparency might be biting many in the ass.

  • http://www.DavideBenjamin.com David Benjamin

    Amber,

    The one area you touched on that bothers me is seeing constant negativity from some of the same people whether it be in a tweet, blog, or some other discussion. I don’t think they’re able to step back and notice how others are viewing them. Sure we all need to vent from time to time but really, that’s normal. I’m talking about day after day, bitching about something instead of focusing on how to be a positive contributor.

    I try to be astutely aware of how I communicate and know when I’m pissed, it might be time to walk away from the computer. There are some things better left unsaid. This might be one of those cases where transparency might be biting many in the ass.

  • http://budurl.com/ynfr Megan Zuniga

    Someone mentioned a son…and this concerns me more. I have a 6 month old niece and my brother keeps posting pictures and videos of the cute little baby that she is. And we all gush about how cute she is. Nothing is generally bad in this…my parents live in another country and it’s a good way for them to keep in touch and get to know their granddaughter. My concern is: when that child grows up, she might not like it that all her baby pictures, videos are posted in the internet. (we know how some kids are very sensitive about baby pictures). So, I kinda have mixed feelings about this. I love those baby pictures but I’m also concerned for her privacy.
    Anyway, back on topic, the posts for FB and Twitter are made for friends and family of the poster (or those people who care) But as others have pointed out…too much sharing of negativity can be a turn off. No one likes a grumpy person who does nothing but rant about the world. The good thing about these applications is that you can choose to ignore people that are turning you off. I think these matters are now magnified because Facebook (and Google) seemed to be ignoring privacy. (I’ve come across this article about how google invades our surfing privacies).
    I think it just boils down to people. There are people who like to talk too much. Some people are private. You can always ignore them if you’ve had enough. After all, we all have freedom of speech, you know.

  • http://budurl.com/ynfr Megan Zuniga

    Someone mentioned a son…and this concerns me more. I have a 6 month old niece and my brother keeps posting pictures and videos of the cute little baby that she is. And we all gush about how cute she is. Nothing is generally bad in this…my parents live in another country and it’s a good way for them to keep in touch and get to know their granddaughter. My concern is: when that child grows up, she might not like it that all her baby pictures, videos are posted in the internet. (we know how some kids are very sensitive about baby pictures). So, I kinda have mixed feelings about this. I love those baby pictures but I’m also concerned for her privacy.
    Anyway, back on topic, the posts for FB and Twitter are made for friends and family of the poster (or those people who care) But as others have pointed out…too much sharing of negativity can be a turn off. No one likes a grumpy person who does nothing but rant about the world. The good thing about these applications is that you can choose to ignore people that are turning you off. I think these matters are now magnified because Facebook (and Google) seemed to be ignoring privacy. (I’ve come across this article about how google invades our surfing privacies).
    I think it just boils down to people. There are people who like to talk too much. Some people are private. You can always ignore them if you’ve had enough. After all, we all have freedom of speech, you know.

  • http://www.rickcartwright.com Rick Cartwright

    ,I guess there is no one answer to this question. On one side, you have the comfort level of the individual: what are you comfortable sharing. On the other side is the community. There are things I just don’t want to know. The challenge is that the interest level of the community also varies. There are online communities where I feel I can be more open than others. In the end, you have to know yourself and know the community where you speak.

    Rick

  • http://www.rickcartwright.com Rick Cartwright

    ,I guess there is no one answer to this question. On one side, you have the comfort level of the individual: what are you comfortable sharing. On the other side is the community. There are things I just don’t want to know. The challenge is that the interest level of the community also varies. There are online communities where I feel I can be more open than others. In the end, you have to know yourself and know the community where you speak.

    Rick

  • http://redcubemarketing.com Gemma Went

    I often struggle with this and have been put off people I’ve found otherwise interesting when they share something a little too personal or loaded with emotion. I prefer to keep those sides of my life unshared, however that doesn’t necessarily make it right. It’s just right for me.

  • http://redcubemarketing.com Gemma Went

    I often struggle with this and have been put off people I’ve found otherwise interesting when they share something a little too personal or loaded with emotion. I prefer to keep those sides of my life unshared, however that doesn’t necessarily make it right. It’s just right for me.

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com John Paul Aguiar

    I think we won’t ever know what is to much to share..lol Just when I think I have seen it all on Youtube I am proven wrong th next day.

    Everyone has a different tolerance level, I agree Drew is awesome, but there are people think he is exploiting his situation.

    I share as much as I am comfy with, I share that I had a Kidney Transplant on my blog, but I don’t get to deep into it.

    There are times I feel there is more I can share or do publicly to support Organ Donation, then I am a private person so Im stuck..lol
    .-= John Paul Aguiar´s last blog ..My Crazy Simple 7 Step Plan To Promote A New Post =-.

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com John Paul Aguiar

    I think we won’t ever know what is to much to share..lol Just when I think I have seen it all on Youtube I am proven wrong th next day.

    Everyone has a different tolerance level, I agree Drew is awesome, but there are people think he is exploiting his situation.

    I share as much as I am comfy with, I share that I had a Kidney Transplant on my blog, but I don’t get to deep into it.

    There are times I feel there is more I can share or do publicly to support Organ Donation, then I am a private person so Im stuck..lol
    .-= John Paul Aguiar´s last blog ..My Crazy Simple 7 Step Plan To Promote A New Post =-.

  • http://www.mikemccready.ca/blog/ Mike McCready

    Personally, I don’t like to share too much, because honestly, I don’t know if people really care. I thinking constantly sharing negative and depressing stories can get old. I think the real power comes in sharing these experiences and how you came through or what you learned. Always turn it around and look at the positives. People thrive on inspirational stories – I don’t think those can be shared too much.

  • http://www.mikemccready.ca/blog/ Mike McCready

    Personally, I don’t like to share too much, because honestly, I don’t know if people really care. I thinking constantly sharing negative and depressing stories can get old. I think the real power comes in sharing these experiences and how you came through or what you learned. Always turn it around and look at the positives. People thrive on inspirational stories – I don’t think those can be shared too much.

  • http://www.socialmediamercenary.com/ Leslie A. Joy

    Amber-

    This is a topic I frequently think about. I think everyone has their own personal line.

    I don’t like to tell people where I am, or really much about my day in general, but I’ll use myself as examples of doing something or talk about my process in my blog.

    That’s what I’m personally comfortable with. Definitely something that varies by person.
    .-= Leslie A. Joy´s last blog ..For Technorati =-.

  • http://www.socialmediamercenary.com/ Leslie A. Joy

    Amber-

    This is a topic I frequently think about. I think everyone has their own personal line.

    I don’t like to tell people where I am, or really much about my day in general, but I’ll use myself as examples of doing something or talk about my process in my blog.

    That’s what I’m personally comfortable with. Definitely something that varies by person.
    .-= Leslie A. Joy´s last blog ..For Technorati =-.

  • http://www.potluckmama.wordpress.com Beth Coetzee

    I was musing along the same lines a few weeks ago. I wrote about Virtual Anonymity on my personal blog and hope you don’t mind me sharing the link below. I guess the sum of my musings was that it’s important to consider what you want to put out for who to see…and there’s plenty of opportunity to guard various facets of your personality or physical life. The trick is finding the balance between protecting your physical life / self or family / privacy while still forming honest and rewarding virtual relationships.

    http://potluckmama.com/2010/03/09/virtual-anonymity/
    .-= Beth Coetzee´s last blog ..Mouthgasm 2010: Sandestin =-.

  • http://www.potluckmama.wordpress.com Beth Coetzee

    I was musing along the same lines a few weeks ago. I wrote about Virtual Anonymity on my personal blog and hope you don’t mind me sharing the link below. I guess the sum of my musings was that it’s important to consider what you want to put out for who to see…and there’s plenty of opportunity to guard various facets of your personality or physical life. The trick is finding the balance between protecting your physical life / self or family / privacy while still forming honest and rewarding virtual relationships.

    http://potluckmama.com/2010/03/09/virtual-anonymity/
    .-= Beth Coetzee´s last blog ..Mouthgasm 2010: Sandestin =-.

  • http://inmymaryjanes.wordpress.com Janet

    That’s an interesting topic, which reminds me of ever reading one of my acquaintances’ blog. She always blogged something about going out with this guy and what happened after the date. I mean, it’s too much for a public platform. If I was to share my personal experience, I tend to share something that people can resonate and can walk away with something substantial. I recently lost my iPhone; while complaining, I also shared some useful information on my Facebook to tell my friends what to do to track your phone when it’s lost. I guess for everyone who tries to blog should really think about what you can tell your audiences besides just sharing personal experience.

  • http://inmymaryjanes.wordpress.com Janet

    That’s an interesting topic, which reminds me of ever reading one of my acquaintances’ blog. She always blogged something about going out with this guy and what happened after the date. I mean, it’s too much for a public platform. If I was to share my personal experience, I tend to share something that people can resonate and can walk away with something substantial. I recently lost my iPhone; while complaining, I also shared some useful information on my Facebook to tell my friends what to do to track your phone when it’s lost. I guess for everyone who tries to blog should really think about what you can tell your audiences besides just sharing personal experience.

  • http://GlobalPatriot.com Global Patriot

    The TMI issue is becoming more prevalent as the reach of social media expands. For most of us, sharing typically extends beyond our immediate circle of true friends. With connections in the hundreds, or thousands, on Twitter or Facebook, the question of what to share is not an easy one.

    In my case, I keep posts limited to general news, or fun updates, saving anything personal for email sent to close friends and family.
    .-= Global Patriot´s last blog ..Earth Day 2010 – Saving The Rainforests =-.

  • http://GlobalPatriot.com Global Patriot

    The TMI issue is becoming more prevalent as the reach of social media expands. For most of us, sharing typically extends beyond our immediate circle of true friends. With connections in the hundreds, or thousands, on Twitter or Facebook, the question of what to share is not an easy one.

    In my case, I keep posts limited to general news, or fun updates, saving anything personal for email sent to close friends and family.
    .-= Global Patriot´s last blog ..Earth Day 2010 – Saving The Rainforests =-.

  • http://jbcmedia.com Jason Crouch

    Amber – I couldn’t agree more. While I don’t really mind posts and tweets that might be deemed as “TMI” by others, I do mind when people decide to rant/complain incessantly. I try to keep things generally upbeat, unless I am warning others away from truly bad service or trying to instruct (“don’t do this”).

    I have shared some pretty personal stuff in public on my blog, notably when I wrote about a very close friend who was dying of cancer, and another friend who committed suicide. The community outpouring of support and the interesting discussions that resulted made it well worth it for me.
    .-= Jason Crouch´s last blog ..Knowing your own strength(s) =-.

  • http://jbcmedia.com Jason Crouch

    Amber – I couldn’t agree more. While I don’t really mind posts and tweets that might be deemed as “TMI” by others, I do mind when people decide to rant/complain incessantly. I try to keep things generally upbeat, unless I am warning others away from truly bad service or trying to instruct (“don’t do this”).

    I have shared some pretty personal stuff in public on my blog, notably when I wrote about a very close friend who was dying of cancer, and another friend who committed suicide. The community outpouring of support and the interesting discussions that resulted made it well worth it for me.
    .-= Jason Crouch´s last blog ..Knowing your own strength(s) =-.