Oversharing on the Internet: When Authenticity Goes Too Far

I recently listened to a podcast episode called “The Age of Oversharing” by Approachable (Samantha Ravndahl & Alyssa Anderson). Sam is a pretty popular beauty influencer with over 2 million instagram followers, and Alyssa is her best friend from high school. I love their podcast for this reason, because I think it’s super interesting to hear the different sides and different views the two of them have over topics such as this one, of oversharing on the internet.  

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In the episode one of the big things they referred to was that you’re almost in a sort of catch 22 with how much you share on the internet. Followers always want you to be open and transparent with them about things that are going on behind the scenes and to know every detail that is happening, but then sometimes when people overshare they’re seen as narcissistic or full of themselves. You really need to find the balance in pleasing your followers and giving them some information about your life, without sharing too much and still having the ability to keep certain things private.

Photo by Fauxels from Pexels

One of the things Sam brought up really resonated with me. She’s recently been a lot more open on social media about her mental health and dealing with depression, but she acknowledged that it’s still a battle, and she doesn’t exactly want to talk about it sometimes. Yet, because she was open and talking about it, people now view her as a sort of advocate for mental health, so she’s been thrust into this mentorship role whether her mental health is in a good state or not. It’s hard when you see that the things you’re sharing are helping people, I know personally that Sam’s conversations about mental health have helped me to realize that I wasn’t alone in the way I was feeling, but then you have to wonder if sharing all of this information designed to help people was to her own detriment. 

Photo by Tofros.com from Pexels

Personally, I would like to brand myself as being authentic, and not purposely being fake for the camera, and things like that, but I do think there is a fine line between being authentic and real and sharing too much with others. There is the struggle of trying to figure out where this line lies. All of social media is new to the whole world, and different generations are adapting differently. The truth is: nobody has the answers and we’re all still learning. That said, there are some things we can do to try and mitigate the risks of social media. 

PsychCentral has a blog post by Paula Durlofsky, PhD, discussing the benefits of not oversharing on social media, and she’s offered some tips on how to prevent yourself from sharing something you may regret later. 

  1. Don’t post when you’re feeling emotional 
  2. Use private messaging to resolve conflicts 
  3. Prepare yourself for negative responses 
  4. Protect your privacy 
  5. Be aware of social media overload and internet addiction 

Please make sure to check out Dr. Durlofsky’s post for more details and information! 

If you haven’t heard it already, please make sure to check out the Approachable Podcast wherever you listen to Podcasts! (Spotify, Youtube, Apple, Google, etc.)

So I’m curious: how much are you willing to share about yourself online? Do you think there are some things that should never be shared on social media? 

Are you sharing too many private details online? http://bit.ly/2usqAuX #Privacy #Overshare #TMI

How do you choose how much of your life to share online? Check out this post for some tips! http://bit.ly/2usqAuX

2 thoughts on “Oversharing on the Internet: When Authenticity Goes Too Far

  1. You picked a very interesting topic and I enjoyed reading your thoughts! My rule of thumb for sharing personal anecdotes online is this: would I be willing to stand up in a room in front of *insert number of followers here* and discuss out loud what I’m about to type? If the answer is no, I keep it to myself. I’ve found this rule to be a good guide when walking the delicate line of being authentic but not oversharing. I’m also very private about my personal life online – I’ve been with my partner for almost a decade and our rule since day 1 has been that our relationship is only between us. I’ve seen couples I know air their dirty laundry on Facebook and overshared to the point that I know more about their relationship from what I’ve read online than what they’ve told me personally. Sometimes it can be easy to talk about something behind a computer screen, but it’s easy to forget that there are real humans reading our words online.

  2. This was such a good topic to read about. I personally will never share anything that’s too personal. I know some people who share way too much about themselves on the internet. They’re definitely some things that you should not share on the internet. The minute you share something on the internet everyone expects you to talk about it. When you may not want to.

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