Lean 30: 17 – Social Sharing Intolerance

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Pamela Chan, BCFamily.ca/Editorial

Lean 30 : 30 days of keeping it lean and old school online. More

You’re going to see this Baby Spammer Allegation Pushback post shared if you subscribe to pages that touch on topics such as parenting.  The thing is most of us won’t receive this type of letter.  We all know that some people can post tonnes of content about their children and they’ll be showered with likes and comments.  Other people might post infrequently and unknowingly receive all kinds of eye rolls.  So much depends on the group of people who are connected with you on your social media account. And yet this letter – which so far hasn’t been “snoped out” – does make you think about the times when you’ve been told that you are [fill in polite way for saying “using social media more than others”].

In the first year after my twins were born, I followed a friend’s advice and took a photo of them every month to see how they were changing.  I suspect that this new level of personal sharing did lead one person to conclude that I was completely obsessed with my new role and that this role defined who I was.  Ergo – if you’re not interested in knowing about all things mommy and babyhood, don’t take note of Pamela’s personal contributions on her Facebook account. Through the grape vine, I got a rather unattractive impression of this assessment.

I lived a fairly isolated existence for the first few years of my children’s lives.  One couple – friends of ours – even offered to babysit every year so that we could attend the office Christmas party.  This was much appreciated as we had no childcare option plan B.  A few dedicated friends and family members met up with us on a regular basis or kept in touch long distance.  I appreciate their efforts and thoughtfulness and hope I have been able to be as good of a friend in return.  Even though I did invite other friends to drop by over the months and years, many faded out of sight or stopped writing.  When I would write, like I had always done, to catch up and ask how things were going, I’d get short statements with no significant news and “how are you all doing?” in reply. Others came by to visit with my children after they were born but also faded away.  I heard about work obligations and how “busy-ness” and pressing obligations with family and friends was taking up all available time.


Got it.

For these reasons, I can’t emphasize enough how much I  appreciated the opportunity to connect with friends and family using social media.  Many friends who are near and dear to me live on the other side of the world.  Getting together regularly is simply not an option.  The ability to share information and exchange “hellos” and ideas was particularly helpful during my 4 months of bed rest. My friends share varied and unique content online that is mixed in with content posted by over 700 pages that I follow on social media.  Every day I learn something new just by reading my homepage.

Now what would you do – and this is is a trick question – if you suspected someone was sending shade your way about your sharing habits behind your back?

The veiled snarky comments might not be about your child. Maybe you’re not a parent or a full-on aunty. (Hands up here. I’m a SavvyAuntie fan!) You might be annoying people with the news and information you share regularly about:

  • your dog
  • your cat
  • your pets
  • your hobby
  • your career accomplishments or challenges
  • your travel news
  • your dating life (or perhaps lack thereof)
  • your cooking output
  • the news stories that interest you
  • your latest wardrobe purchase
  • something that you made
  • a pressing social justice issue that’s not getting enough traction in mainstream media
  • flower and nature photographs (guilty as charged!)
  • other people’s dogs, cats, pets, hobbies, careers, travel news….

You get the picture. (What did I miss BTW?)

It’s puzzling.  What ARE we supposed to share on our pages?  Haven’t Mark and Sheryl said over and over again that Facebook is about connecting with friends and sharing your news with them?

“Why does he share so much?”, I’ve been asked.

How do we define “too much”?  If someone rarely shares content online, a friend/relative/colleague/classmate sharing content once a day or week will seem like a veritable flood of information on your homepage.

To make matters worse, the perpetual eye rollers aren’t minimizing our posts.  They’re not discreetly “unfriending” us.

No… wait. Unfriending? Who does that to friends, colleagues and relatives who haven’t committed a serious social faux pas? That’s so 2009.

They’re not minimizing or hiding our content. Clearly this is something they need to understand and figure out on their end. This particular type of intolerant person- not most of our contacts, thankfully – is simply having a bit of fun at our expense, when we’re not in on the conversation.

Or maybe this SSI sufferer completely loses touch with reality and sends out messages like this one.  Or at least shares all these complaints with everyone save for you and me:

One of the original tweets from Jade’s husband Ryan.

What would you do?


Interview with Jade Ruthvern

2 thoughts on “Lean 30: 17 – Social Sharing Intolerance

  1. Alas, there are entire FORUMS dedicated to behind-the-back snarking and criticizing of bloggers or parents who have publicly-accessible social media. It’s actually a very base, very dark place populated by hateful, insecure people who would rather voice their opinions behind the veils of anonymity than actually confront someone either on their social media, or privately in person. And yet, I too have visited the forum and read its contents (and like Jade, I’ve recently become a target). It’s human nature, I guess, to have an opinion. It’s also commonplace that there are weak people in this world who lack the courage to share their opinions graciously, honestly, and own it when they get flack for it. There is perceived power in secrecy and in numbers, I guess.

    I suppose I would be mad if someone in my social networks was sharing the haterade behind my back, but the truth is, the same freedom that allows me to blog and post on my social media is the same freedom that allows them to spew their hateful bile, privately to one another, or to my face. I have the power to “unfriend” or “unfollow” just as they do. I would hope, however, that those closest to me would feel comfortable just telling me if I’ve stepped over a line somewhere. Otherwise, too bad if they’re being subject to my posted content and feeling annoyed. I have no responsibility to manage their feelings, and if they can’t be bothered to say something or unfriend/unfollow, then I guess they just have to suffer my posts!

    But that’s just me. I’m not really one to care about people who can’t bother to act in a respectful way. *shrug*

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