Cleolinda Jones (cleolinda) wrote,
Cleolinda Jones

Teal deer are in season again!

Something that made me think possibly because I didn't want get down to work yesterday: Tell Me More! Why Do We Overshare?

I feel like there's been a rise in oversharing since blogs, online journals, social networks, etc., appeared in our lives--it's so much easier to confess your deepest secrets to names on a screen. You can't see the looks on their faces, for one. But the crazy woman cited at the beginning of the story was dumping all her business in real life, so if we're going to stick with the first idea, I'm going to have to say that it's carried over into real life--on a wider scale than it used to be; there were always people who had no sense of tact or boundaries--because, due to the effect of the internet (and reality television: the obligatory confessional cam, tucked away in private where the other housemates can't hear the steam the contestant is blowing off to millions of people ), revelation has become something of a currency. I think that, on some level, we're putting the cart before the horse: it used to be that we just hounded celebrities for the private details of their lives, and now we feel like spilling our own makes us important. I mean, it's what important people do, right? Go on TV and walk us around their houses and tell us their favorite recipes and make coy references to their love lives? Well, now anyone with a blog (or a Facebook, or a Twitter, or a...) can pretend to be just as sought-after. Important people get attention, and spilling our guts on TV or the internet will get us attention as well, and therefore that also makes us important, right?

... Right?

Well, actually it makes you really annoying most of the time, but some bloggers really do have the skill to write about very personal experiences in a meaningful or entertaining way. I don't know if I could be one of them, and I don't intend to find out. There are a few things I think people would consider to be very "personal" that I don't mind talking about--depression and mental health, for one, but you'll notice you only ever hear me discuss it in fairly detached terms. I tend to analyze what I think is going on with me; you're never going to see a post at two a.m. where I'm stutter-typing about how I've lost my will to live and I'm going to end it all. I don't mind talking about depression or medication in general because I don't feel like it's anything to be ashamed of, and in fact, I think people need to talk about that kind of thing more; they need to hear what their options are, that other people are able to get through it, that it's not weird or strange or unusual, but actually a fairly common ailment. But I'm always in control or speaking in retrospect when I talk about it; I'm not bleeding my emo all over you. That, to me, is why it's useful rather than TMI.

By the same token, this is why I'll tell you fun or nice or happy snippets about my friends and family, but not about fights or problems. And while I'm not seeing anyone right now, I suspect that talking about anyone I was going out with would be the worst idea ever. It would be one thing to tell you several weeks or months later about how I met someone, once the whole thing was a fait accompli, but right as it was happening? These things are so delicate in their early stages--they practically blow away like dandelion fluff, and I imagine that a public play-by-play of a first date would count as a pretty strong breeze. These are calls you have to make for yourself, but there's a point where, if you have a large enough readership (even over, say, fifty people), you have to decide whether you want to trade in the currency of TMI and make that your thing (which is fine) or if discretion is the better part of valor. Me, I have movies and books and things to talk about, and that works fine for me.

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Tags: depression, mental health, philosophical ramblings, tmi

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