I have two confessions to make.
One is that I am a Facebook junkie.
And, two, is that I have been called an “over-sharer.”
I love Facebook. Actually, if I’m being honest, I love social media in general. Privacy, as I see it, is an illusion. We can still maintain private inner worlds without the fear of completely exposing ourselves on these various social platforms. Who really cares if marketing gurus know that you are a fitness enthusiast who also plays video games and read lots of John Grisham novels? Those things do not make up a whole person. No one can ever get inside your head or your heart. I don’t care what you post or how much you “share” with people. Instagraming photos of your pet, your noms or even your boobs are not going to bring an end to society.
I realize, of course, that a lot of people have different ideas about these things. I’m not saying that everyone should be on Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest or should share the sheer overwhelming sense of pleasure they feel every time they have a really satisfying bowel movement or eat a delicious slice of pizza. Social media is definitely not for everyone. Some people need to have that bubble of privacy surrounding their lives. And that’s fine, too. All I’m saying is that the more conservative among us should not shame those of us who find no shame in sharing our lives, whether just the surface stuff or the super-intimate details, for better or for worse.
This is what social media was created for. To connect people. And, let’s face it, history shows us that some people are just not interested in connecting all that tightly. There’s nothing wrong with that. And there’s nothing wrong with being open, either. It would just be nice if everyone realized this.
As for me being an over-sharer…well, I DO share an awful lot of my life. Not just my interests…sometimes, it is my way of blowing off steam after a crappy day and venting or sharing my feelings about a certain situation (personal, political, whatever..) with anyone who might care. I’ve been through marriage, death, divorce, break-ups and the end of friendships on Facebook…and, before that, on my old Diaryland diary from about a thousand years ago. My friends…the real ones…knew how to roll with the punches. They lifted me up when I needed it, and celebrated my personal victories with me. They stuck it out, and a lot of them are still here, years and years later.
I’ve cultivated some beautiful friendships thanks to social media and have formed connections that I am confident would not otherwise exist. I have met writers, artists, musicians and even lovers this way. And, in some cases, social media has served to revive and/or strengthen friendships that may have otherwise fizzled out and died all together.
I do not consider myself an over-sharer, however. When sensitive issues arise, I never mention names. I feel that is just unnecessary, and I really don’t believe in “calling people out” on the internet. That’s stupid. Odds are, if someone did something to wrong you, they already feel guilty. That’s what private messages or (god forbid) the phone is for.
I share my feelings straight off the top of my head. If I think it, chances are it will crop up in someone’s newsfeed at some point. There are things that I’m sure more conservative folks would never in a million years even dream of putting out there on social media feeds for anyone to read because they find those things embarrassing…but I, being who I am, may find those same things funny or even freeing to share with others. It’s all about personal taste and boundaries and respect.
If something that pops up in your feed offends or annoys you, there are ways to block those posts you find so distasteful. And if it’s really bad, there’s always the “unlike or “unfriend” or “disconnect” buttons.
I’ve had my share of folks who have unfriended me on Facebook because of things I have posted and, well…good riddance, honestly.
As Dr. Suess once wrote, “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”