Welcome to my blog, aka my place to comment and reflect on things I find inspiring, amusing, irritating, or baffling. When I was young, my Stanford PhD, former physics professor, software engineer father used to help me with my math homework, and I, being mentally deficient in all things math, could never quite get it. He would constantly say to me, "Jill, it's not rocket science." (Did I mention the PhD was in Aeronautics and Astronautics??) So I thought it would be an appropriate title for this blog because everything I write about is, indeed, not rocket science.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Facebook Over-sharers

We all know who these people are. Our "friends" who share too damn much on Facebook. They tell you about their children's sleep schedules, what they had for dinner, their trip to Home Depot, their medical problems, their love for Jesus, their inspirational thought-of-the-day, their exercise habits, and even their children's potty training regimen. Is there no filter? Is nothing sacred?

I guess my rule is, know your audience. And because most of us have 300+ Facebook friends, your audience is large, varied, and wildly unimpressed that Bobo went pee-pee on the potty. Or that you had salmon for dinner. Or that you went for a run this morning.

I imagine it to be like telling a joke - you're not going to tell a dirty joke to your parents (well in my case, probably, but that's beside the point). You're selective. You tell them the one about the rope walking into a bar ("I'm a-frayed knot!"), not the one about the snowman and why he had his pants down. 

I always wonder what motivates Facebook over-sharers. The thing that I don't understand is that many of my over-sharer friends are cool people in real life (I don't consider Facebook real life). It's like they forget that they're not just updating their family and group of 10-20 close friends (who might care about Bobo's potty training), but EVERYONE YOU WENT TO HIGH SCHOOL AND COLLEGE WITH, COWORKERS, AND ACQUAINTANCES. That's a lot of people who probably didn't want or need to know that tidbit.

As one of my favorite movie characters of all time, Neal Page, says to Del Griffith, “You know, everything is not an anecdote. You have to discriminate. You choose things that are funny or mildly amusing or interesting. You're a miracle! Your stories have NONE of that.  They're not even amusing, ACCIDENTALLY! And by the way, when you're telling these little stories? Here's a good idea: have a POINT. It makes it SO much more interesting for the listener! ” I think these are words to live by.

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