There are three parts to my pet peeve, but the overarching concept is known as “THE OVERSHARER,” coined by none other than the betches. Part I: OVERSHARER photo version – putting over 5 pictures of the exact same thing on Instagram (not even Facebook) and expecting to get likes or comments. Part II: OVERSHARER attention version – the person who pops up on every single medium of social medium that ever came into existence. Part III: OVERSHARER PDA version – the couple who does not stop publicly displaying their affection to the public who really doesn’t care what they are doing or thinking about each other every second of the day. Each part is special in its own way and therefore requires a “pet peeve paragraph” each.
THE OVERSHARER: photo version
I would say that my biggest social media pet peeve is when people use Instragam as Facebook or the new mupload. These are clearly two different types of social mediums and they should not be used interchangeably! I really can’t stand when I’m going through my Instagram feed and see the same user has uploaded about 6 pictures in a row that really shouldn’t be there. First of all, Facebook albums are really the place to store photo streams. Instagram, as an unwritten social rule, should really be used twice a day MAXIMUM – but really once a day should get the job done. And that does not mean every day is necessary to Instagram. With that said, I really don’t need to see a user posed with 6 different friends all in a row on my feed. Again, that is what Facebook is for. If you are looking to edit a photo, then edit it and delete it after. If you are looking to upload an “album” to Instagram, well, don’t…
I think people get really excited about social media and want to display their excitement to the public, but unfortunately not everyone is as excited as the user. For an offline analogy, it’s almost like hanging six variations of the same photograph above your bed in your dorm room. Everyone can see the first picture or two and get the context from that – there is no need to display every single moment of that experience to the public who may not be as interested. This example, and social media in general, happen to be both private and public, but it is the user’s job to filter that and decide what personal photo or experience should be made public.
THE OVERSHARER: attention version
But, one of the worst things EVER is THE OVERSHARER who uses every single medium of social media to tell people she is just there. There is nothing worse than seeing the exact same person pop up on every platform of social media that exists just to tell you the exact same thing. Please upload yet another of the exact same photo to an unheard-of social media platform. Me at the beach with my friends: Facebook album, Twit pic, Instagram with one too many hashtags, check-in on foursquare, snapchat legs and ocean, blog about beach experience. Nobody needs to know anybody’s every move unless they wanted to, in which case they would simply ask. It is a craving for attention there is a 90% chance that you will get less of it.
THE OVERSHARER: couple version
You have a boyfriend – everyone get its. The part three of the most annoying thing on social media is “Social Media PDA.” Making a status along with a photo of you and your boyf kissing, 100 hastags, every love emoticon that exists, a check-in with the newly added “feeling…” on Facebook, for every month’s anniversary is really going to cause some unwanted romantic takeover on your newsfeed. Also making every single profile picture a new pic of you and the boyfriend and a cool (or not cool at all) destination is just as unnecessary. Being lovey dovey and sharing cute stories is for personal texting or calling not public wall-to-wall knowledge for all your FB friends to see. That goes for tweeting as well. I don’t need to know every detail of your love life and neither does every one of your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Foursquare, Snapchat followers. This is called “public display of connections” where this user is pro-constructing his/her identity through his relationship and connections.
Facts Behind the Mastermind
In our second class we discussed what defines social media. Our three responses were: a platform to exchange ideas, a medium that has implications for social relations, and something that enhances communication and formation of social ties. To file “the oversharer” into these categories, I would say that yes, social media is a platform to EXCHANGE ideas but not a place for a one-way conversation all about you. There is a big difference between an exchange and an outlet.
As described by Ellison and Boyd, a social network site (SNS) is characterized by foundational activity of sharing contents with a bounded group of users. In my opinion “the oversharer” overly fits into this description. They most definitely have uniquely identifiable profiles because it is all their followers ever see, and their “friends” list is of course public so they can track who is paying them attention today. Content is 100% provided by the users, and again this is overdone. The ties for “the oversharer” are usually uni-directional, or will be after too much oversharing, and most likely there are many weak ties. There is a major context collapse in that the content is produced to share and be known across all platforms of social media, but it is consumed as obnoxious and undesirable.
Lesson learned: please do not overshare.
- Limit yourselves to (max) one Instagram post a day – so make it a good one
- If you want to tell people what you’re doing at all times, text them privately
- If or when you have a significant other, don’t let it take over your friends’ newsfeeds or your entire profile for that matter – when you no longer have that significant other your profile will be empty…
After writing this blog I stumbled upon this article, which has a pretty good summary on my feelings about how to use Facebook appropriately.