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Katy England Katy England
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edge staff writer


The art of the overshare

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I was watching my hundreds of video clips of the kids that I had recorded from the past year, and I remember thinking to myself: I should have posted these online. And that gave me a pause. Yes, when my son started smacking his lips while eating applesauce, that was oddly hilarious, but probably not something I would share with everyone at Business After Hours (no offense to anyone I see at BAH).

And that's when things get sticky (not that everything in my house isn't already sticky). Because it's fine to post a few super-cute pictures and one or two uber-cute videos. But when do you stop? And how do you sort who gets to see what and if they even want to see it? I've written before about how subtle social cues are lost on me these days.

This is not going to be a diatribe about how people are oversharing their lives and they really need to quit it. Should you be careful what you post? Yes. Should you be mindful that you are posting images of your children that will be locked forever in the clutches of the internet? Hell, yes don't post things you wouldn't want your grandmother to see!

But with that in mind, social media does allow us to stay connected with people we otherwise couldn't see. Grandparents states away, aunties and uncles far afield, and friends we can't see anymore. It doesn't have to be a bad thing. And oversharing is subjective.

There are a few things to consider before sharing every diaper change with all your Facebook friends.

How many friends or followers do you have? If it's over 100, you may want to think about limiting the number of people who can view the album. If people want to see it, they'll ask and you can always add their name.

People are polite by default, but even the nicest person may start squirming if they start seeing posts about your OB/GYN visits pop up in their Twitter feed. Be mindful that even if you're posting on a forum or a Facebook group, it still may be posting publicly on the feed.

When I was pregnant, one of my friends created a Facebook group for me with people who wanted to help out or just hear about the babies. The brilliance of this was two-fold. First, it was an interested audience. The people who were in it had expressed an active interest in my babies and their wellbeing. Second, it was a closed group, meaning that what I posted there wasn't plastered across Facebook for all to see. That way, the people who are following my professional career don't have to read posts about my kids burping. And if you feel like you're missing out, you can always ask to join.


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