Every time I log into Facebook, I’m overwhelmed by a stream full of personal life details.
A childhood acquaintance shares every little detail of her pregnancy. A college classmate complains constantly about how much he hates his job. Another friend shares a stream full of passive-aggressive tweets, which seems to point to a lack of closure post-breakup. Another woman shares way too many details about her failing marriage. And a friend-of-a-friend uses his status to declare his love for his girlfriend and his intent to be with her forever and ever.
When I scroll through my news feed, I get this overwhelming feeling that I’m intruding on people’s personal lives. It’s slightly annoying: and if we’re being honest here, it’s a little uncomfortable.
I don’t think sharing nitty, gritty life details is a bad thing; social networks are all about connecting with people in a more personal way. But I’m starting to realize that maybe- just maybe- we’ve gotten too comfortable with allowing acquaintances to join our networks and delve too deep into our personal lives.
The instances I mentioned above, like the pregnant woman or the individual going through a divorce, are using Facebook to share tidbits that would normally be shared with a tight-knit group of trusted family members and friends. But instead, they’ve decided to entrust their intimate moments with a wide network of acquaintances and friends-of-friends: including me.
When posting, I think it’s a good rule of thumb to ponder: Does everyone I’ve allowed in my network need to know this? If the answer is no, then feel free to share your information with friends and family via email, texts or Facebook messages. Believe it or not, e-mail isn’t extinct, my friends.
So what do you think? Have we lost the point of social networks? Have we let too many people into our personal lives? What’s the fine line between being personable and sharing too much?