An Open Letter To The Perpetual Over-Sharers

Dear Facebook Friends Who Won’t Stop Airing Your Incredibly Personal Dirty Laundry Via Status,

What are you doing?

Seriously, though, what are you doing?

Take a second and imagine, if you will, standing in a crowded public space – in your case, we’ll just say Wal-Mart – and yelling to 400 of your closest acquaintances about the extremely tense fight you had with your live-in significant other this morning. Imagine looking them in the eye as you convey wave upon wave of information that they neither needed nor wanted to know. Imagine having to pass by them afterwards on the way to the fishing/gun section and accept the looks of knowing disdain they toss your way, all too aware of the 10-day-long menstruation you just had to endure.

Is this image sufficiently unpleasant? Good, because it is for us, as well.

I know it may not seem that way, because you are tapping letters on an electronic typewriter into a buzzing screen that has so many words on it, but you are actually communicating with people. Just like all of those people you no doubt keep in touch with on your WWE and Paula Deen forums, your Facebook friends can actually read what you write, as well. So every time you talk to them about the prolific crap you just took or the deep financial troubles you’re facing, they are now aware of it and will integrate this new information into future assessments of you as a person.

It’s understandable that one would be inclined to use Facebook as a forum for one’s innermost unpleasantness, as it deceptively asks you “What’s on your mind?” at the top of its homepage, almost baiting you into revealing the most unfortunate aspects of your daily life. What’s on my mind? How about the bleeding herpetic lesions dotting the right side of my mouth? Seems a fair conclusion to draw. But, tempted as you may be to tell us all about your recent bout of hemorrhoids or fistfight with your mother-in-law, you must learn to keep in check the thoughts you allow to escape your fingertips.

For your benefit, I’ve compiled a short list of questions to ask yourself when posting a status update to find out whether or not the information you’re about to divulge is suitable for the general public:

  • Is it contagious?
  • Did someone orgasm?
  • Are social workers involved?
  • Are you contemplating divorce?
  • Are you bleeding from any southern orifice?
  • Did someone call someone a cunt?
  • Are you facing prison time?

If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, please save everyone the mutual embarrassment and keep it to yourself. Relationship problems are always better resolved between the two involved, and medical problems should be seen to by a professional. Indirectly informing your entire 8th-grade class about your seething hatred for your roommate is doing nothing for the situation, and is only serving to make people cringe when they see your name and think, vaguely, “Yeesh, what the hell happened to that guy?”

Don’t be that guy.

Best Regards,
People With Common Sense TC mark

Chelsea Fagan

Chelsea Fagan founded the blog The Financial Diet. She is on Twitter.

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  • Anonymous

    thumbs up. i should send this to my brother

  • http://twitter.com/nestevian888 Brooklyn

    posting this on facebook.. thanks!

  • PUBLICPERV

    yo, over-sharers that share good news are bad news too.

    • http://twitter.com/nestevian888 Brooklyn

      Yeah.. i don’t care that you got an A on your final or that your dog just got spaded. 

      • Katherine

        Or that you think you have the best husband/gf/parents/child in the world. Or that you have a fun job & awesome boss & that you just bought an $800 camera. Let those of us who are miserable remain merely miserable; don’t add seething jealousy to the mix.

      • http://twitter.com/nestevian888 Brooklyn

        Oh yeah I just want to shoot the ones that brag about their perfect significant other in the face

      • http://twitter.com/nestevian888 Brooklyn

        Oh yeah I just want to shoot the ones that brag about their perfect significant other in the face

  • Emily

    This is perfect, and completely necessary.

  • http://twitter.com/lukebourassa Luke Bourassa

    Just had the worst fight with my girlfriend while reading this. UGH! Why is life so shitty! Now I need to go pick up my aunt from her court appearance…

  • guest

    “I didn’t know people followed my life so much on facebook! flattered to say the least… But I am on a break from my boyfriend/best friend, A—— C————, not quite broken up per se. Long story. If you know me, text me and then we can chat. It is a LONG STORY. And the saga is still unfolding… To be continued… Stay tuned for new updates each week!”

    -from my fb wall today

    • kaylee

      oh god

    • Eek

      why are you friends with these people!?!

      • guest

        I think it’s funny.

  • anon

    Let’s be honest, I don’t care much for any status updates from my so called Facebook “friends” whether appropriate or not. 

  • Katherine

    >slow clap<

  • http://maxwellchance.wordpress.com Duke Holland of Gishmale

    Love it. 

  • yuck!

    And the naked belly pregnancy photos?!  Completely unnecessary.  Baby pictures are okay.  Pre-baby pictures are just gross.  The only people who want to see that much of you can get them by email or something.

    • MM

      i just graduated high school and i have seen PLENTY of these among high-schoolers *shudder* it’s like “yay I screwed up my life but everyone can be JEALOUS of me being pregnant at 16!”

  • kaylee

    “I just love the smell of warm feet at bedtime.”

    -from my news feed a couple days ago

    What the fuck, man. What the fuck.

    • Anonymous

      Hahahahahahaha

    • Brononymous

      This is the reason the  “unfriend” button was invented.

  • RH

    what is a ‘prolific crap’

    • http://fastfoodies.org Briana

      the lack of question mark makes this question seem like it is being asked by this face :  -_-

      makes me laugh

  • http://www.facebook.com/phillipmichael Phillipe Felut

    I started hiding people from my mini feed as soon as the option became available

  • natasha

    oh man,  so many posts on my wall right now that i want to go to and post article as a reply! 

  • Brononymous

    Did someone call someone a cunt? Always.

  • Mr Shankly

    PROTIP: Click the blue ‘x’ next to said perpetual over sharers’ status. Click ‘hide all by ___’. Fucking hurray, problem solved. Now stop being a whiny bitch. I’m joking.

  • vicki

    i personally love watching people unravel on facebook. if they are lame enough to choose share their personal crises for my entertainment, i’m not complaining. if it actually bothered me i would either unfriend or click ‘hide’. problem solved. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1363230138 Michael Koh

    Ohmigod Chelsea are you calling me out?

  • http://twitter.com/jkymarsh J. Ky Marsh

    The irony of this particular article being posted on Thought Catalog is almost too much to bear.

  • paige

    not good enough for mcsweeney’s i guess.

  • Anonymous

    If I didn’t get to see shit like this on facebook, I’d get off facebook.  

  • http://somuchtocome.blogspot.com Aja

    I think that’s why I stick to twitter.  People keep things funny and intelligent on twitter (even if they are over sharing).  Fcebook, not so much.  

  • A$H

    As an oversharer, I cannot like this article. 
    It goes against everything I stand for–aka, “likes”. 
    No, I shall go on over-sharing. (Though I think I am well above anything from your list…so far)

  • http://www.guidetomenhattan.com Rachel

    Chelsea you my be my fave

  • Anonymous

    ta.gg/4vh

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