Oversharing in an Online World

Have you ever made small talk with an acquaintance only to have that individual tell you something so personal that it made you uncomfortable? I ran into this guy once whom I’d met at a party and hadn’t seen since. I shook his hand and asked how he’d been. Not that great. My wife caught me cheating. Pretty sure she’s gonna leave me.

What to say? I’m so sorry. Keep your head up. Everything happens for a reason. He countered my clichés with sordid details about his “hot” mistress while I hoped that the unwanted conversation would quickly run its course. I felt…violated? Probably the wrong word, but the feeling was certainly in that neighborhood. I felt he’d infringed upon me by offering such private (and unwanted) information.

I obsessed over the encounter for a week, vacillating between feeling like a victim and a jerk. After all, he was obviously hurting and just needed to air things out. To publicly own something awful he’d done. Who was I to begrudge him for that?

[read more over at BabbleVoices]

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About john cave osborne

John Cave Osborne is a writer whose work has appeared on such sites as DisneyBaby, Babble, YahooShine, TLC and the Huffington Post. He was also referenced by Jezebel one time, but he’s pretty sure they were making fun of him. He and his wife, Caroline, live with their five children and spastic dog in Knoxville, TN. Nothing annoys him more than joke-heavy bios written in the third person, with the possible exception of Corey Feldman.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1535927304 Marj Pike Hatzell

    Oooooh. That oversharing person might be me. Rut Roh.

    • john cave osborne

      i genuinely doubt that. but also, those are just my thoughts. many, i’m sure, feel much differently, and that’s what it’s all about, right? figuring out our own comfort zones.

  • pam

    i tend to over-share sometimes. i try not to, because i know how uncomfortable it can be for people. i’m one of those who doesn’t think before i speak. it gets me into trouble sometimes. heck, it’s not even really over-sharing, i guess, just a penchant to say what’s on my mind lol

    • http://johncaveosborne.com John Cave Osborne

      i tend to speak my mind, too. i think that’s different from oversharing, though. and, remember this: what do i know? these are just my thoughts on the matter — thoughts that Lisa Belkin’s piece conjured up.