Do you know someone in the middle of a messy relationship, who…
just posts too much information on social media? Here’s Best Dating Practices with D’Andra.
The Plight of the Oversharer Part 2
“It’s day four. I have but one question for you…are you still itching to post that salacious comment about your significant other (or not so significant other by now) online? Hopefully the urge to overshare has been squelched and replaced by a rash of sensibility or a good head shrinking session from your bestie! If not, remember the pen is mightier than the sword before you hit “enter”, and most probably you will need a sword and a shield plus nerves of steel when the fallout is over. The old “sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me” adage is great to say aloud, but it doesn’t hold true for most of us in our deepest core. We feel things and we are affected by them. Feeling hurt or disappointment is a normal human response. That is why I am I am discouraging oversharing. It is a protective mechanism to keep you and me from suffering unnecessarily from the fallout of comments from your mate or their “camp” so to speak. That is where one of my favorite concepts comes in handy…boundaries!
Boundaries…if you are not familiar with the concept of this word get to know it! Implementing boundaries in your life will cause you to live a more healthy and productive life. Let me provide some real life examples to support my suggestion.
Someone I was very close to was in the middle of a messy divorce. His soon to be ex-wife had the tendency to post disparaging comments about him on social media , and had even taken to negatively bashing him online via her Facebook page for everyone to see. She did this by tagging him (even before the divorce was ever discussed) in comments about him that were meant to hurt and point out negative aspects of their relationship i.e.…If your husband loves you he does so and so and then tagging him because he didn’t do it. During the divorce, the attorney for my friend asked him to get the posts from his wife’s Facebook page, and send them to him for evidence in the court proceedings. I was tasked with the job of taking photos of the posts and comments, and then making them into documents to send to the attorney, because by this time the wife had blocked him from her Facebook page but forgot to block me. Always know there is a mutual friend willing to help the other party with gathering information for them, if they believe their friend was wronged and want to support the friend and their side of the story.
The result, as you can imagine, was not favorable for my friend’s wife. Not only did it make her look like a crazy person in court even garnering a bipolar comment with regards to the woman by the judge, it also put a positive spin on her husband’s image to the judge, which turned the tides in his favor. Even though he was accused of infidelity, the judge forgave his bad judgment because I think she thought he went through so much hell publicly after his mistake (and before his slight in the day to day marriage) that he had already paid his “penance” so to speak, and he didn’t need to pay as much with his wallet. Also, the judge saw the comments from before the affair when the couple were still together, and wondered why it took the guy so long to leave this horrible woman. He ended up looking like a saint for not straying long before because he was trying to be there for his children! I guarantee you that the ex-wife didn’t bargain for that to be the final opinion from the judge. She thought she would be sitting pretty with a wad of cash because she was wronged. The judge decided that my friend had suffered so much abuse from the wife in public that he didn’t need any more punishment from the judge in court. He had learned his lesson. Now, I think looking back the wife wishes she didn’t “overshare” on her social media sites.
Plus, the couple I am talking about had children. Would you really want your children to see your mate bashing on social media? Trust me, they do, and the spouse who is doing the mate bashing does not appear in a positive light in front of their children. No matter how bad your mate is, your kids will love them, and you have to respect their opinion and keep your feelings about your mate to yourself to have healthy boundaries with your kids and your mate. One caveat…if you are in an abusive relationship and the abuser is endangering your children and you then you must remove your children and yourself from the , and tell them exactly why you are doing so. I am only writing about normal unhappiness in adult relationships, not abusive relationships.
Another example that really disturbs me lately, especially with regards to women’s Facebook and other social media pages is the rash of inspirational quotes when a woman has been scorned. Nothing says LOSER like a post that says, “Every woman deserves a man that respects her, appreciates her and loves her the way she should be loved. If you are not getting that from your man it is time to move on. You need to love and respect yourself when your mate doesn’t. A brighter future is in store when you let go of your current situation and let true love find you.” Now I just made this up, but it is eerily familiar to the kinds of posts I have been seeing lately. This screams, I have let someone take advantage of me and I am at home crying on my sofa and sharing this with the entire world, so they can commiserate with me and feel sorry for me and know what a jerk my ex was. In the meantime, I can assure you that Mr. Terrible (your ex) has moved on to the welcoming arms of another woman, and is actively dating someone new. Jerk or no jerk, for every woman that has a headache there is always a woman in the room with an aspirin in her purse. Where does this leave you? Looking sad and lonely and kind of pathetic!
On Facebook and online in general we feel bold. We are emboldened to share ideas and feelings that we NEVER would share with people face to face. We feel like there is a protective wall because we don’t have to look at another person’s face when we say what we are saying. I can tell you this from my own personal experience. I tend to be a straight-shooter, which is not so great when you are trying to win friends and influence people. If you want my opinion on something I will definitely give it to you without sugar coating the issue. I am honest to a fault. I do this in person too, but I have found that I really have to check myself before sending an email or a text, because the meaning or message can be misconstrued, even if it is with the best of intentions. The same can be said for social media. I never air my grievances or opinions about controversial issues (learned the hard way too) and I don’t share my problems, spousal or otherwise for the world to see. TMI!!
There is nothing positive to be gained by sharing the ugly details of your divorce, your miserable job (or that you are actively seeking another job), your children’s problems or other negative information with others online, friends or Facebook friends. They have nothing to gain by reading your ranting and raving either. It frankly just makes you look desperate and sad. If you want people to feel sorry for you or encourage you to seek professional help then go ahead…post away!
One blogger put it oh so eloquently when referring to social media sites like Facebook, for example. She said, “Facebook is really nothing more than the online equivalent of a tedious cocktail party you have to be seen at if you want meet the “right” people and/or don’t want to seem rude and antisocial.” Taking what she said at face value gives me a lot of insight as to what I should be posting online. Ask yourself if what you are sharing you would be comfortable sharing at a cocktail party face to face with friends, friends of your spouse, enemies and people you don’t even know. If so, then maybe it’s okay to let it all hang out. If not, then save it for later when you may have a change of heart! Happy posting!”
D’Andra Simmons is a businesswoman and philanthropist. She is the founder of Hard Night Good Morning Skincare and an active volunteer for the Dallas community serving on the Advisory Board of Booker T. Washington School for the Performing Arts, volunteering with the Junior League of Dallas, AIDS Services of Dallas or Cattle Baron’s Ball for the American Cancer Society.