In a recent Wall Street Journal article, Thank You for Not Sharing, columnist Elizabeth Bernstein talked about those who suffer from BYB syndrome (the acronym for Blab Your Business).
While it's easier now than ever for us to share our holiday photos, vacation fun-in-the-sun shots, and family milestones such as our child's graduation party, the tendency to over-share on social media can result in sending out TMI (too much information) both online and offline. Before you know it, a spat with your husband or best friend will travel across the county or even to another continent. Meanwhile, you may have already kissed and made up, but your friends and children won't know that.
A Kaplan Test Prep study found that 2/3 of teens in the U.S. are friends with their parents on Facebook. While parents spend time spying on their kid's activity on the social network to make sure there's no digital monkey business or cyber stalking going on, this means that your children are also seeing what you're posting on Facebook.
When we're in the digital moment, we can't resist posting photos to Instagram. I even posted my photo with my mom on Mother's Day and watched my childhood and college friends comment on the two of us. Meanwhile, my mother really didn't want to be exploited on Facebook. Ask yourself before you post the girl's night on the town sipping margaritas how your boss or family members would react to that.
In my book The Rules of Netiquette, I discuss whether to post, or not to post photos and when and when not to share intimate details of your personal life on social media sites.
My general rule of thumb is, "When in doubt, don't." You won't want to cause any embarrassment with your children, neighbors and loved ones.
So how does this translate to matters of the heart? Posting about your spat with your spouse will most likely cause anxiety in your children's lives. If you're a single parent, posting photos with all of your dates is oversharing.
At the end of the digital day, I say leave the drama at home and ask yourself if you don't mind your children, parents, or boss seeing or hearing about the emotional roller coaster in your personal life.
Have you ever shared something personal online and regretted it?