Ode to Overshare

I’ve ranted before about overshare. I’ve disparaged people like Penelope Trunk because they employ the entire internet as an amateur therapist. I try to keep this blog free and clear of any of the drama that goes on in my life. Lately though, I’ve been having second thoughts.

When oversharers make the decision to start opening their life up to internet, something unexpected happens. They are not ostracized or passed by like a raving street preacher. People start to trust them because of this volunteered information. There are still detractors and critics, but they either remain silent or can be silenced by a draconic comment moderation policy. You might say that the oversharers only surround themselves with yes-men and sycophants, that this is only hollow tribalism, but consider this: Your only other option is to be invisible, a mere statistic on google analytics. By keeping guarded about our personal lives, and by extension our very individuality, we are ignored, we are downsized, and we are passed over.

I am trying very hard to convince myself that this isn’t true. My hardships are my own, I have no right to burden others with them. But I notice that rapport that forms around bloggers that offer their very bodily functions for public debate. Can we afford to remain aloof in such a society?

One thought on “Ode to Overshare

  1. Sara

    I don’t mean to sound divisive, but it would be interesting to see how many “overshare” blogs are written by men as opposed to women. I remember attending a workshop lecture by Carol Boothroyd a few years ago. She was discussing the differences between boys and girls in order to help new teachers understand what was happening in their classrooms. She stated that girls trade secrets in order to be liked and accepted. For girls in school, secrets (or, I guess, oversharing) are paramount to friendships: girls reveal private information about themselves in order to have friends, and if another secret is revealed to them a connection is made. Boys, on the other hand, will gossip, but they can make friends just fine without sharing personal information. I now wonder if this need to be accepted by sharing private information ever goes away, as I have seen women bloggers attempt this same kind of connection through their posts and comments.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *