Parents & Oversharing
Earlier this week Blair Koenig, the founder of the now infamous blog STFU, Parents appeared on the Today Show to talk about her blog and the cultural phenomenon of parents oversharing information in social media, particularly Facebook. Her blog is filled with examples of parents sharing some of the less-than-glamorous details of being a parent and hijacking other people’s Facebook posts with a comment about being a parent.
Not surprisingly, Blair and her blog have received lots of criticism since from parents. Many argue that her blog is mean spirited and that she has no right to criticize parents when she herself is not a parent. They feel that as a non-parent, she just doesn’t get how important it is to have the sense of community among fellow parents.
While I think her blog only examines one slice of the culture of oversharing that seems to be taking over (I find many childless Facebook friends overshare just as often as parents do), I do agree that Facebook oversharing is maddening. Don’t get me wrong. I love Facebook. Maybe a little too much. Like most people, many of my friends and family are now scattered across the country and even many of the local ones I don’t get to see as often as I’d like. Whether they are in a similar life stage or a completely different one, I love that Facebook keeps me connected to what’s going on in their lives. But I could do without some of the details. I think parents get a lot of the blame because, let’s face it, some of the mundane details about being a parent are pretty gross. While most of the parents I’m Facebook friends with are not oversharers, the ones that are seem to be posting something new and equally annoying everyday. As a blogger, I realize I seem completely hypocritical for saying this as I make it a point to share boring details about being a mom on a weekly basis. However to me, the WHERE is the distinction. I completely understand and share the need for a parenting community to ask questions to, share war stories with and relate to. But for me, Facebook isn’t the right place for that. I’m lucky to have found that community in other places. Here on the Mom to Mom Blog, among fellow moms friends at home and around the office and on the BH Community to name just a few. Sharing (and oversharing) parenting experiences is totally normal, even important, but as with any kind of sharing, there is an appropriate time and place.
How do you feel about parental oversharing?