Oversharing: If you can’t beat them…

Clearly I offended people by suggesting some details about your life (particularly gory parenting details) should be kept private and not trumpeted to the world via Facebook.

I am sorry.

There must be more to this oversharing thing than meets the eye… I thought. So, being the student of Gonzo Journalism that I am, I became part of the story, and investigated…

Here are my status updates from today – and the comments they generated…

I gave up after a while. I couldn’t handle the heat.

The author

Nathan runs St Eutychus. He loves Jesus. His wife. His daughter. His son. His other daughter. His dog. Coffee. And the Internet. He is the campus pastor at Creek Road South Bank, a graduate of Queensland Theological College (M. Div) and the Queensland University of Technology (B. Journ). He spent a significant portion of his pre-ministry-as-a-full-time-job life working in Public Relations, and now loves promoting Jesus in Brisbane and online. He can't believe how great it is that people pay him to talk and think about Jesus.

7 thoughts on “Oversharing: If you can’t beat them…”

  1. Since my FB comments appear in this post I thought I might add my tuppence worth.

    I totally agree with both you and Simone that the “SuperChristian” line that so many people put out is just annoying

    But as a parent who is not a gory parenting stories sharer, I find it offensive (though that may be too harsh a word, but you use it above) that you, as a non-parent fail to appreciate the joys and pains of raising kids, and so tell people not to share aspects of their life that they are happy about or struggling with. Not that every detail needs to be shared, like the nitty-gritty of breastfeeding and every single poo on the potty. But some of these things are genuine posts that if someone is comfortable to put on fb then why shouldn’t they. Because you say so?

    You know, sometimes other parents actually enjoy those little updates because they can empathize with their friends.

    If it annoys you that particular people overshare often then use the “hide” option and don’t follow them on your wall.

    Also, it might interest you to know that some people (meaning me) are annoyed by constant sarcasm and irony being spouted out through blogs and fb etc even in the name of gonzo-journalism. Making astute Christian judgments about life is one thing but just pointing out other peoples’ failings with no way forward is something else all together. (And I have to say I’ve noticed an improvement in your blog in this area between when I stopped reading [for these reasons] and starting again a month ago.) But these things are free applications that let people do just about whatever they want.

    At the end of the day, if you can’t stand the way people use facebook, either don’t use it yourself, or delete them from your friends list – end of problem.

    1. “As a non-parent fail to appreciate the joys and pains of raising kids, and so tell people not to share aspects of their life that they are happy about or struggling with. Not that every detail needs to be shared, like the nitty-gritty of breastfeeding and every single poo on the potty. But some of these things are genuine posts”

      I think there’s a time and a place for these things. And it’s not Facebook. I’ll happily have a conversation with parents about parenting. I just don’t see why “thunder poos” belong on Facebook.

      “Making astute Christian judgments about life is one thing but just pointing out other peoples’ failings with no way forward is something else all together.”

      That’s probably a fair point. If I aimed to be pastoral through this blog my tone would be different. But, really I’m aiming to rant and rave as a form of catharsis for the amusement of myself and others. I think that’s fine. It works for me. It frees me to be a nicer person in person.

      I think it comes down to what our fundamental understandings of what blogs (and this blog in particular) should contain.

      I don’t claim to offer solutions here. I claim to offer the things I find from around the internet and a jumbled collection of half baked thoughts, slandering of things I don’t like and the occasional argument.

      If I were running a blog with a better defined scope then I would provide balance. But I’m not, I do this to procrastinate while seeking inspiration at work or to keep some sort of “scrapbook” of funny things/interesting things I find around the Internet in case I want to refer to them later.

      But including a “way forward” or some sort of positivity might raise the tone somewhat, so I’ll take that on board. But controversy creates readers, and if I ever decided to include ads here, readers create cash.

      Plus, offering a polemic point of view will never convince anybody to take on the point of view offered, but in my opinion it’s more likely, if it’s engaging, to shift thinking towards a more moderate point – and that’s really all I’m after.

  2. Sorry about my rant above. Should have read the comments on the previous post first, in which you refine your position somewhat. Just commented here because my fb comments appear.

    Don’t often read the comments or comment myself because just use RSS. That’ll teach me.

  3. Like I said, you’re free to use your blog and fb however you want. And if I get frustrated by the irony and sarcastic tone, I’ll stop tuning in for a while. Like I did last time. Simple as that.
    Surely a similar approach can be taken to chronic oversharers.
    Btw, is posting a picture of my daughter reading a book called “The Truth about Chuck Norris: 400 Facts about the World’s Greatest Human” an overshare? Because I find it pretty funny that she picks it up and tells me which words talk about “Jesus”. Sorry if it is. Just thought you might be interested.

    1. “Is posting a picture of my daughter reading a book called “The Truth about Chuck Norris: 400 Facts about the World’s Greatest Human” an overshare? Because I find it pretty funny that she picks it up and tells me which words talk about “Jesus””

      No, that sort of thing is not oversharing. I’m going to edit my original post to remove the point about talking about your kids. That’s fine to do.

      I was wrong to suggest that sort of thing is off limits. It’s more the gory details – basically if the body part or function normally occurs behind locked doors or under clothes then it has no place being shared on Facebook.

      Also, gory details are out. If it’s more than people need to know – it’s out. If we get the picture and the information is just to make your status more extreme – it’s out.

Comments are closed.