AUTHOR: Carolyn Savage | POSTED: October 9, 2012 | COMMENTS: 12 Comments
CATEGORIES: Glass City Parent,
This past weekend the New York Post ran an expose’ on the blog STFU,Parents. STFU,Parents is a site focused on outing moms and dads who share too much information about their kids on the internet. The content is shocking but wholeheartedly hilarious and a good laugh is always needed in my neck of the woods. But after my laughters died down, there’s a question that begs to be answered. When is my sharing too much? After all, I’m a blogger who posts three to five times a week. I’m constantly searching for interesting topics and every once in a while something happens with my family that would make great fodder for a post, but is completely out of bounds.
Sean and I recognized the importance of boundaries during the writing of Inconceivable. We were pressed over and over again to share…share…and share some more about every little detail about my pregnancy with “L”. The publisher wanted to make our book as interesting as possible, but there were some things that needed to stay private. Lines had to be drawn. Boundaries had to be enforced.
So we made a few rules that helped guide our editing and I think these boundaries are not only relevant to our book writing process, but would also be useful to parents when it comes to sharing through social media. Of course, if everyone followed them, there’d be no content for STFU, Parents and I’d be down several laughs for the week. That being said, whenever I read cringe-worthyposts from people who overshare, I admit…I cringe a little at myself. After all, I’m laughing at someone and that’s not really me. I’d much rather delight in someone’s witty humor or funny story.
Rules for Sharing through Social Media
1. If your sharing a tidbit about your ”nether-regions”, STOP. Ask yourself if the information about to be spewed is necessary. It COULD be that you have to expound about a personal detail to promote greater understanding of a bigger story being told. If that is the case, tread respectfully, remembering not everyone wants a play by play of your cervix during labor. It it’s trivial intenet bantor, stop now!
2. In the same vein of #1, if you’re sharing information about someone else’s “nether-regions”, STOP. No really…stop. You shouldn’t be! End.of.story!
3. If you’re post contains descriptions of bodily functions, STOP. We all pee, poop and puke. I don’t want to know the details of the “three p’s” in your house. I’ve got enough of it in my own!
4. If you’re sharing about one of your childrens’ accomplishments, STOP. Ask yourself, How often do I share about the accomplishments of my kid(s)? It it’s occasional and reserved for the biggies, than go right ahead. Frankly I love knowing your good news. It’s why we’re friends on FB. BUT…if you clog up my newsfeed with every little childhood milestone (i.e. Johnny pee’d in the potty today! Also closely related to violating #2…) than put the brakes on. You don’t want to be a bragger, do you?
5. When sharing ANYTHING about your kids, STOP! Ask yourself, How would my child feel about me sharing this ‘tidbit’ with the world? If you aren’t positive they’d approve, than DO NOT PROCEED! It’s an issue of respect. And don’t dismiss this boundary if your child is young. When parents put information out into the world, there is no true method of retrieval. We spend a lot of time preaching this fact to our teens. Perhaps parents should practice what they preach!
6. If you’re posting multiple status updates a day, STOP. Ask yourself why you’re compelled to give a play-by-play of your every move. Purpose in posting lends to credibility. Multiple random posts about mundane activities leave people wondering about your emotional health. That’s never good!
Huge and very TIMELY TIP…
7. If you’re posting about why ‘your guy’ is better than ‘the other guy’, STOP. There’s good reason to edit ourselves when it comes to publicly talking politics. People are usually quite married to their political convictions and little status rants about ‘your guy” or the ‘other guy’ only polarizes many of the people you’re trying to connect with. I’ve already hidden a handful of FB friends because I don’t want to read their political babble, even when their guy is the same as my guy. I have my own beliefs and they’re personal. You aren’t going to change my mind, especially through a Facebook status update. SO STOP!
Any tips I’ve forgotten? Please feel free to add your own to the list!