Is your Facebook feed full of sonograms, baby photos, and graphic potty training descriptions? We’ve all seen it – the parents who feel that no detail about their kids’ lives is too small, or too gross, to share online.
Moms are power users online. What seems like oversharing to others might be their way of building community and getting actually useful information. Does everyone want to see stories about projectile vomit? Definitely not. But could some of the responses provide genuinely good info or happiness for the poster? For sure.
I’ve definitely been an oversharer myself. When I was five months pregnant with my son, I turned to my husband and said, “I’ll never be one of those moms who goes from having her own life to suddenly only posting a million baby photos.” “Of course you’ll be one of those moms,” he said to me sweetly, “and it’ll be great.”
Sure enough, four months later, my Facebook profile was an incessant stream of baby photos, thanking people who sent adorable onesies, and the nonsensical ramblings of someone who was only getting two hours of sleep.
One evening, I woke up in the middle of the night, feeling ill. I had been having some problems with nursing, and knew that mastitis was a possibility. Since it was 3 a.m., there was nobody to call, and I was sending myself into a freakout spiral on WebMD. So where did I turn? Facebook, of course.
Before having a baby, I would have rolled my eyes if I saw someone posting about breast-feeding. But to me, that Facebook post was priceless. Dozens of comments poured in, offering advice and sympathy. Some of the tips were extremely helpful and most important of all, I felt like I wasn’t alone – I was part of a bigger community of moms who were all in it together.
Don’t get me wrong, the chronic oversharers could help us all by toning it down a notch (or 10.) But now, when I see something that seems to be crossing the line, I try to put myself in that person’s shoes. If that status update led to useful advice, a good laugh, or simply just a sense of not feeling completely alone during a tough day or a difficult moment…well then, honestly, who am I to judge?
Randi Zuckerberg is the founder & CEO of Zuckerberg Media, and editor of the newly launched Dot Complicated, a modern lifestyle blog.