Engaging Culture

When Do Personal “Updates” Cross the Line?

Check out Facebook or Twitter lately and you’ll come across some of the weirdest status updates.  Most of them fall into the TMI category for WAY too much information.  Here’s a few I’ve seen lately:

— Details of trouble with a particularly nasty hangnail.

— Throwing up after a night of drinking.

— Dealing with a bout of shingles

— Menstrual Cramps

— and much worse…

Not to be a prude, but is there a place in the social media world where it’s time to hold a little back?  What kind of culture are we becoming when we consider the slightest (or most vulgar) incident in our lives important enough to share?

Should anyone care?  What do you think?

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15 Comments

  1. I’ve hidden many FB “friends” because of their pattern of such posts. I want to comment “I DON’T CARE!” on their every status update. I haven’t (yet) done that … but I can feel it coming.

  2. Before I post a status update, I ask myself one thing: Will someone respond to it? If what I have to say isn’t funny / interesting enough to make someone else comment, I won’t say it.

  3. I’m with you. I don’t mind the serious ones (the kid with cancer, the extremely premature births) — in fact, I want those updates. But I have no interest in the state of your sinuses, your tummy, or your self-induced trauma.

    Sometimes I type TMI in the comments. It doesn’t seem to work.

  4. Why do “people” post the things they do? Why not use Social Media for something good, Phil? Why try to PUSH the ENVELOPE and cross over to an “UGLY” Place?

  5. I can handle most of those – I hate the ones where marriages are breaking up, and one of them needs to tell the world all the scummy details of their breakup…

  6. How badly do some people need attention? That’s why/how many of them (updates) come to be. What do yo assume people truly want to know about you? All I can say half the time is…REALLY??!!

  7. It’s a two edged sword. The original charm and subsequent appeal of social media is, on busy days I can throw out a non-chalant comment to a group of friends. I get a similarly innocuous, sometimes entertaining response thereby simulating the casual, uninhibited interaction I’d have with them if they were standing next to me. All without the need to set aside a block of time to do so. Spontaneous, efficient, endearingly personal.

    This honesty is what makes social media marketing so appealing. The belief that information is spontaneous implies that it’s also trustworthy. If one of my “friends” tell me they like a product, service, etc. I’m going to assume it isn’t because they’re making money off the endorsement so it must be true. I’m more likely to “like” it and endorse it myself.

    If the TMI is censored, the benefit will be lost. As soon as social media is corporatized it’ll die.

    In my humble, non-TMI opinion.

    1. Carol – I think you’re exactly right. Maybe the actual culprit is the difference between “real” friends and “Facebook” friends. I don’t mind that info from real friends (within limits of course), but people who’ve friended you that you don’t know is another matter… Thanks for posting!

  8. I hear these kinds of comments from people all the time – “FB’s a waste of time b/c who cares if you just found a bargain at the local grocery store or you decided to walk your dog.” My response is “that’s how THEY’RE using FB – but that doesn’t mean you’ll use it the same way.”

    And here’s some cogent advice from my daughter that’s really good Social Media personal policy – “if you’re not my friend in real life – you’re not going to be my friend on FB.”

  9. I only use the dreaded Facebook for mercenary reasons, and when I do I sometimes leave deliberately silly status updates – eg “Simon Dillon has found the Holy Grail. It was in the cupboard under the stairs” or “Simon Dillon has inadvertently ruptured the fabric of the space/time continuum” etc, etc…

  10. Before I type anything on the computer – be it facebook, email or word doc alike – I ask myself do I want to see this on the news or have it read in a court of law. If the answer is no then I do not type it. I save all that stuff for coffee talk. That is what Starbucks is for.

  11. You know, I don’t like the “narcism” style on FB or a blog or anywhere…..There is so much to say without the “I” all the time. I use Facebook to encourage people…..life is a hard enough as it is, why bother people?
    Sometimes I say something about myself what I am doing, but it is rare… there are many thing I rather don’t know about people, even good friends….why know all the ins and outs of your personal life…sometimes they are made up just to sound so cool..

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