On Oversharing

BY  |  Friday, Oct 29, 2010 1:00pm  |  COMMENTS (3)

My husband won’t go near Facebook (except when he goes on my account), doesn’t Tweet, won’t let me use his name or mention him in my Facebook status, and doesn’t feel comfortable with me using my kids’ names on this website. He hates oversharing. In fact, he will probably get mad that I’m even writing about him now. I may have to make a sign for him.

Being an editor of a parenting website, I obviously share more than the average person. Well, that’s not true. I’ve seen some pretty personal things on blogs and social media.

Online I found out a mom I know is getting divorced, read an argument between a friend and her boyfriend and read things that parents write about their kids that I know will make the kid cringe when they’re older.

I have to censor myself too. I once was going to write about something my daughter was going through, until I asked my husband and a friend if it was too personal. They both screamed, “Yes!” I realized it was.

Just the other day, a Baristaville mom passed on the link to a story in  The Brooklyn Paper, a neighborhood news blog which she still reads, even though she moved to NJ from there a couple of years ago. It was a mom who writes about thinking of divorcing her husband, which isn’t such a shock to hear, many people go through this. The shock was that she publicly named her kids and is known by many people who read the blog, so they also know her husband. Readers went crazy, chastising her for writing about something so personal on a website. They sided with her husband and felt sorry for her family.

Titled Will Mommy Divorce Daddy?, the author writes:

The other night, some small thing erupted, I can’t even remember what it was. It could have been anything from the boys wrestling as pre-sexual adolescents are wont to do, or not putting their pajamas on as soon as they were told as adult control-freaks (myself included) are wont to demand. The Big G began the high-volume hijinks, and I took the children’s side, though I know I am not supposed to. I think I tried to hide my annoyance from the kids, but I am loud even when muttering under my breath something along the lines of, “That’s it…”

The muttered statement came from a very real place. I have begun recently, sadly, to wonder if it might not serve both of us to spend some time apart, to see what we might become independently. The thought has crept in slowly but surely, and I have shed many tears over even the possibility of breaking apart what I have always seen as a perfect union.

Clearly, my children are aware that these feelings have arisen. They are like dogs, using all their senses to figure things out. Following the incident, the house calm once again, my little Oscar was sitting reading in my bed as I put things away.

He looked up from his book out of nowhere and put it to me straight: “Do you want to divorce Daddy?”

One reader commented: “You live in this borough as do your husband and children who many people who read the Brooklyn Paper know personally. I am sorry that you are willing to publish about such private moments. Perhaps you do not realize the hurt you inflict on your family. Get some therapy and stop using your kids and long suffering husband as the scapegoat for your issues.”

Is the reader right? Is it harmful to write about something so private when it includes, not only you, but your children and your spouse?

3 Comments

  1. POSTED BY Schooled  |  October 29, 2010 @ 1:27 pm

    Wow. Not only is that very public personal essay painful, but the comments (as far as I got) are ugly, bitter, and just crass.

    There’s sharing (hallowe’en costume deliberations, allergies to a new rug…) and then there’s unloading. Horrible on all sides. I am so sad for the kids and the spouse and, actually, for the author.

    I guess it takes a village to raise a family and to tear one down.

  2. POSTED BY profwilliams  |  October 30, 2010 @ 12:47 pm

    For the sake of being off topic, are we really being asked to comment on a comment left on another blog?

    I was with it- whether or not to overshare in general- but it turned to a “let’s add our 2 cents to this on-going issue on this other blog” kinda thing.

    To the first question, the one addressed in the headline, I think some folks have always been more “open” about themselves- telling friends and neighbors personal things- and now with the internet, it continues.

    For me, I assume EVERYTHING I write will come back to me, and choose to write only that which I would say to your face or will defend.

    However, the generational aspect of “privacy” cannot be missed here as kids seem to have a different view on what is private for them.

    As for the divorcing couple- who cares? Parents fight and divorce publicly everyday. Are we now going to act shocked? C’mon, as mentioned, the kids must already be aware. But the prof believes in a certain amount of modesty and will refrain from participating in what must be a VERY painful moment in both of their lives.

    (That’s me, y’all can write what you want– I just read and take sides privately ;)

  3. POSTED BY Sandy  |  October 30, 2010 @ 4:28 pm

    I agree with the initial posting. I am not on Facebook nor do I tweet.
    Not interested, and do not have the time for that stuff.
    There are things needing attention here & there, around the property,
    7 cars to take care of, a wife and a son and and and….Tweeting is for the birds :)

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