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Tuesday, January 08, 2013

To share or over-share

Jenny is a big fan of the blog, STFU, Parents. I enjoy the site as well, where parents are anonymously mocked for their over-sharing ways on Facebook. Many times, these parents act like their child/children are the center of not just their universe, but everyone's universe. The narcissism is often high with these people, and therefore, hilarious to read. "At least when I babysat growing up I got paid," begins one post. "No one pays you to stay home on NYE with your own child."

Once again, there's what you think about, and then there's what you write and share with people you know.

Chances are very good that you know these kinds of parents; frequently posting almost every kind of detail about their children's daily lives. There's the lack of sleep posts, the posts about meltdowns, and pictures, pictures, pictures. I am Facebook friends with a number of people who have young children, and I'm thankful that I've only had to hide a few from my news feed. I actually enjoy hearing about their children, but if the children are the focus of every single post (especially if there are many in a day), I grow tired of seeing this. Same thing with posting pictures. If there is a daily photo gallery (instead of one or a couple of pictures), it's too much.

And don't get me started on people who are about to become parents for the first time. All I will say here is, a couple I know found out a few weeks ago that they are expecting their first child. Since then, all posts from them are filled with detailed information about the ultrasounds. While I'm very happy for them about having their first child, I'm not so sure I could handle daily/weekly updates about the pregnancy until the summer (when the child is due to be born). Fearing over-sharing for the next couple of years from them, I might be hitting that "Hide" button soon enough.

I'm not trying to sound heartless. I am not a parent. I want to have children, as does Jenny. But we're not into over-sharing on Facebook about it. For example, I dedicated exactly one Facebook post about playing with Jenny's 14-month-old niece over Christmas. Noting that I had "Heads and Shoulders, Knees and Toes" stuck in my head for a few days, my intent was to share a rather amusing result of entertaining a toddler. There was no blast of "Oh man, I wish I had a kid!" or "I want a baby now!" posts from me. I thought some of those thoughts, but knowing the hazards of posting that kind of stuff, I held back.

Ultimately, I think people should post what they want, but if you find yourself hidden by friends and family because of over-sharing too much of something, please don't take to Facebook to complain about it.

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