Sharing on Social Media: Yay! or Nay? Two Moms Decide
By Jamee Villa & Michelle Sweezey (two opinionated moms)
Jamee and Michelle are back with our monthly Yay or Nay series. This month’s topic, Social media: To Share or not to share. Read along and let us know how you feel about oversharing?
Jamee Villa: YAY!
My husband thinks my phone has been surgically attached to my hand. Not joking. He knows this is my full time job and one that I actually get paid for sooo ya, it’s the first thing I do in the AM and the last thing I do at night.
Thankfully, I grew up without social media. There is no proof of my awkward stages, questionable fashion choices and bad makeup unless you find them framed in my parents’ house (Wet and Wild #666 via 1994 was my jam!)
Now that I am an “adult” and have fallen into this social media consulting career, I have the opportunity to reach as many people as possible via social media platforms and well, I think that’s pretty cool.
Using social media in my private life has become second nature. I am a Wife, Sister, Daughter, Friend, Consultant and a FT working Mom who travels. I own my life and all of its chaos and yes, I want to share it with the masses. I don’t sugar coat via social media and for that, I hope to inspire other women especially Moms to do the same. I love seeing photos of my friends and family either out on the town, new parents accounts being quickly over run by their new baby and I love seeing love. Social media is a wonderful way to connect if you use it for that purpose.
I openly admit it, I am guilty of over sharing and guess what, I am 100% okay with it!
Friends and family know what’s going on in our lives. They know when my daughter learns a new song or when my husband plays golf and to be honest, it cuts out about 10-15 minutes of useless “How are you doing?” conversations when you run into friends at Target or show up at a family function. I mean, my Nana has a Facebook account. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes its weird that people know who you are from following you on Instagram. Fifteen years ago, we would have considered that stalking.
What I do think is important to reiterate is that what you see on social media is not real life. Do I even have to say that anymore? Yes, yes I do. This topic has been an all too familiar conversation in the media and within every social circle and I’m not sure it will ever go away.
This is an all too classic tale for those of us who over share. When I post photos of my family and life it does not represent the meat and potatoes of my marriage nor does it show how I parent and I believe that about others too. It’s a small snippet in our lives and it’s important we all recognize that.
With all that being said, I say, Share! Over share (just keep it PC!), Share some more and most importantly, have fun with it. My take: I am a YAY for over sharing!
Michelle Sweezey: NEUTRAL
I don’t know. It depends on who’s sharing it, and why, and how, and to whom. I find this question a lot like that biker analogy. You know, this one— “when I’m in the car pedestrians annoy me, when I’m walking cars annoy me but whether I’m walking or driving, people on bicycles always annoy me.” Only, add this— “but when I’m a biker I feel justified, savvy
and a little bit #coolerthanyou. Yeah? Got me?
Well, that’s how social media feels to me. It can be done well, it can be done not well. It can be 800 pictures of “my pet/kid/husband/left foot did this,” or a personal share that makes my eyes do crying-like things, snot drip out of my nose and my arms get all tingly. But regardless of which side of the “fucks given” scale you’re sitting on, know that when I share, it’s the funniest, cleverest, most thoughtful, loving, or greatest thing that ever happened to a keyboard. Obviously. Right? Mhmm. See above. #coolerthanyou. Only, um, totally not!
And my job isn’t helping. We know that at least 70% of consumers read information on a device, more than 50% of those of via video, and that social engagement drives business revenue. This means that as part of my real actual paying job, I get to spend hours every week engaging with our business ‘“followers,” and that everything I say, to everyone might matter. It’s a serious head game. My Klout score is affected when I’m not active, and that affects what I see when I login, and what you see when you login and how big our reach is when I post something and I feel like I just can’t stop reading, liking, commenting, checking, and, sometimes, oversharing. Seriously, I need a Nanny-Cam for myself and my own damn fingers. Somebody put me on timeout, please. Except don’t. Because I’ll probably get fired. And so I share, and I read, and I comment, and I laugh, and I generally engage.
I think there is so much beautiful potential in a social media sharing — laughter, joy, inspiration, learning, knowledge. Together we can celebrate across, um, screens or whatever. It allows us to interact in the daily lives of one another while we are off doing our own thing, to a point. There is also overload of information, a draw to compulsively read and share, and the constant need for validation and immediate gratification. Social media can feel like reading the poorly spelled manifesto of the day formerly known as Wednesday in one moment, and the only motivation I ever needed to wear grey sweat pants in the next.
As the unlimited cache for the virtual dumping-of-shit into cyberspace, it’s often the nearest and easiest bucket in which to spew your every thought, vomit up your feelings and throw more shade than an Oak Tree on the riverbank in the summertime, and all from the safety of your screen. And therein lies the risk. So my take-away, like all things, is to find a balance. Set some distinct times, goals, and purposes for being virtually social. Login for a reason, not just because you’re bored, your kid is being an idiot, or you want to look like you’re doing something important. I’m looking at you, self. And in the end, as Total Beauty served to demonstrate, nothing you put online ever really goes away, so if you don’t want to the world to see it, then zip it lady, zip it real good.