“Oversharenting” has been getting some press coverage this week, as seen in this segment from today’s Good Morning America. The news networks picked up on it after the letter above went viral.
Jade Ruthven, a first-time mother from Australia, received an anonymous letter in the mail about her (apparently annoying) social media activity. In the letter, her angry “friend” criticizes Ruthven for posting too much about her baby Addy on Facebook. “She crawls off the mat – we DON’T care! She’s 6 months old – BIG DEAL!”
Ruthven took to Facebook (where else), where she posted the letter in retaliation. “I wasn’t going to go sit in the corner and start taking myself off Facebook. The total opposite is going to happen,” she said. The proud mother has since been flooded with words of encouragement: “You have every right to show off your baby…. Continue being the fantastic mom you are by being present in your baby’s life.”
Admittedly, when I first heard about this letter from my friend, we couldn’t help but laugh about it in agreement. We do our own fair share of complaining about our friends who have a tendency to post (and post a lot) of photos of their kids. Frankly, I don’t want to see photos of anyone or anything that often… So the play-by-play of your kid’s day has kind of lost its thrill.
That said, anyone who would go so far as to send an anonymous letter with that many exclamation points and capitalized words is probably not handling it properly. Once I actually saw the letter for myself, I realized it was a bit outrageous. (Viral content indeed.) I’m not sure why someone would get this worked up about such a thing. She could just block the content she doesn’t want to see in her news feed. It seems to be more of an argument of principle or something more deep-seeded (thus the stinging “get back to work” dig).
When I see someone’s posting or over-sharing activity pick up on social media, I sometimes wonder, “Are they OK? Are they looking for human interaction?” It can be simple and harmless attention-seeking, but sometimes I think it can mean a little more… Do they need me to reach out? Do they need someone to ask, “How are you?”
Or hey, maybe their kid is just that cute.