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Oversharenting: Acceptable or Social Faux-Pas?
By: Jennifer Graber
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Posts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter vary greatly with regards to topic and context, so it would not be uncommon to see photos and hashtags regarding drunken nights out, lunch, ethical dilemmas, vacations, and shopping excursions all in one news feed. Of course, it just would not be social media without the inevitable cute kid posts. Your news feed is likely full of photos and videos of Baby Eva’s precious tutu, Little Seamus’ first attempt at crawling, Baby Preston’s adorable art on the wall, or Little Bailey trying to ride a bike. The overabundance of kid content on social media has been dubbed oversharenting.
Oversharenting, essentially, is the act of sharing with the world personal moments from your life as a mom or dad. However, some social media users do not care for oversharenting. In fact, some social users are becoming quite vocal about their discontent. Jade Ruthven, a mom from Australia, became a new mom recently. And, like any new mom, Ruthven shared her journey via social media sites. She probably was excited to show off her new life and keep loved ones up to speed on the baby. But Ruthven experienced an unpleasant side effect as a result of her posts on social media.
Ruthven received a letter in the mail that called her out for posting too much. The letter stated it was no big deal that Ruthven’s baby had crawled and that no one cared that her baby was six months old. After recovering from the initial shock, Ruthven posted the anonymous letter on her social media feed, and it naturally has gone viral. Ruthven claimed she only wanted to “shame them a little” and did not expect the response she has gotten. The new mom has received many positive, encouraging words since the viral incident.
I can understand how social media oversharenting can be a tough pill for some to swallow. For example, those who are suffering from infertility or loss might struggle seeing the joy others get that they do not. Others might just be in a different place in their lives and would rather party it up than read about the best diaper for Little Susie. I can also see how oversharenting could lead to a feeling of inadequacy in some parents. These are all valid feelings that each person is 100% entitled to.
But guess what? You are not entitled to bully someone on social media. You do not like what they post? Block them. Unfriend or unfollow them. Block the post. If the person is a good, close friend, you could even ask them to block you from certain posts. The point is that you have options that do not include writing an anonymous letter declaring that their posts annoy the daylight out of you. People get bold behind the curtain of the Internet.
Do you not think the parents are so over your posts as well? Do you honestly think they care whether or not you went to the gym or watched some television show or found another cat video? And yet they are not writing nasty grams regarding those posts.
Whether or not someone likes my posts about my fur child, I will continue to unapologetically flood my news feed with pictures of my dog. I encourage parents to do the same with their human children. I also encourage others to post about whatever it is that captures their hearts. Diverse individuals with a variety of lifestyles and interests can coexist, peacefully, in the social media world. By the way, Ruthven says she has no plans on backing off of her baby posts. To that I say — bravo!!

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About the Author
Jennifer Graber is a Business Development Manager and marketing enthusiast. Her specific interests include branding, consumer behavior, development, integrated marketing communications, and new & social media.
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