Are Modern Parents Guilty of “Oversharenting”?

I know I overshare on my blog. Hell, I even posted during pregnancy about my ugly vag problem. I’m sure my pious mother-in-law was horrified by that one, though we’ve never discussed it. I keep thinking maybe she didn’t read it. I know my husband only reads posts I flag for him. Otherwise I think he’d be horrified too. He’s a private person. So private in fact that he, get this, doesn’t even have a Facebook page. Yes, you read that correctly. He will occasionally go on mine to surf and post obnoxious comments that I then have to go undo/overexplain to my “friends.”

All this to say that there is a new term. It’s called oversharenting.

I cringed when I read parts of this Wall Street Journal article. As in, “God I hope I’m not oversharenting everything I post.” When it comes to my kids, I’d like to think they won’t be horrified by my blogs in 15 years. I keep telling myself that since everything is so instant, everything is also instantly forgotten, right? But what if it’s not?

Will Fia care that her first boyfriend can find a picture about her first poop? Will Emmett care that the world knows he’s not circumcised? I don’t dare ask my husband this because I think his gut feeling is I reveal too much. He would probably be okay if my blog went away. He’s supportive of my writing—he just doesn’t want our family to have anything to do with it. But I’m a mommy blogger. So what line do I walk? My family is my blog. And it gives me a creative outlet that I cherish.

When it comes to social media like Twitter and Facebook, I’m pretty lame compared to most moms. I have less than 600 twitter followers (please follow me! @jillcordes) and I have a small fan base on Facebook (please like me!). I’m so bad at putting my links up that I have someone helping/teaching me to do it.  As ridiculous as it sounds, somehow this makes me feel like a superior parent in the online world. Well, I may be posting naked pictures of my babies, but at least I don’t live on the computer all day.

Ahh, we humans can justify anything, can’t we?

I have no right or wrong answers for oversharenting. I don’t know if anyone does because we don’t know where the digital age is leading us. Will our kids and grandkids be more open about issues? Will there be less passive aggressive behavior in the world because we call everyone out on everything? (That would help many an in-law relationship, no?) Or will we end up raising robots? Or worse—kids who hate us for all we’ve revealed?

I joke that when Fia and Emmett become tweens, we’ll all move to rural New Zealand and become sheepherders. But something tells me there will be a wireless connection there, too.

Where do we draw the line in dealing with online? Tell me. Help me. Share your thoughts for the world to see.


Picture of mom and baby on computer via Shutterstock

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  1. by Tricia Tennery

    On May 16, 2012 at 9:44 am

    Wow, ummm I’ve never thought about it really, I guess I’m pretty guilty too. I keep my blog as a form of scrap booking I guess, since I print mine in books each year. I have only 11 followers and way less than 100 followers on Twitter although I’ve googled how to get more blog followers.


  2. by Jessika

    On May 16, 2012 at 10:04 am

    When posting about my child and pregnancy I try to think of one rule; would I be embarrassed if my mom posted what I have. If the answer is not really I feel it’s safe to post. If I’d be mortified by it then I don’t post it. I only post pics that I know I wouldn’t be horrified if they were of me.

  3. by Jessica

    On May 16, 2012 at 10:20 am

    Since I have started blogging this is an issue that has crossed my mind. I try to be transparent in my posts because that is what I crave as a mom. But I am sure my kids will not feel the same way when they are teenagers. If it is something that they are embarrassed about at home I do not write about it, but it is hard to say what will bother them in 5-10 years from now…

  4. by Maggie

    On May 16, 2012 at 10:23 am

    I try to practice what I preach to my kids and model behavior for them. So will you feel ok if they reveal family details like that? Just don’t have a double standard because they will emmulate you in all things. I am a high school teacher and I definitely see that kids copy the things parents do (good or bad) regardless of what parents actually say.

  5. by Aisha

    On May 16, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    Some may take it too far, but the majority of parents try not to humiliate their kids. I seriously doubt a child will be devastated by things they did as an infant. My blog is a way for me to decompress and to chronicle my kids lives. Some day when my kids are older they can read my posts and learn more about me.

  6. by Mamaof4

    On May 16, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    I don’t think that the problem is sharing accomplishments or achievements, what I think will be really detrimental is kids that have to read what their parents have written about how horrible they are. Can you imagine a teenager reading about how their own mom was frustrated to the breaking point raising them? My rule of thumb is if it uplifts great, if not don’t use it.

  7. by CB

    On May 16, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    If everyone is doing it, we will probably all get lost in the fray. The more people who flood the Internet with stories and pics of their kids, the less of a big deal it becomes. Is anybody even paying attention? I doubt it.

  8. by kristen

    On May 19, 2012 at 12:07 pm

  9. by Heidi Lyn Burke

    On June 11, 2012 at 10:20 am

    I’m probably also guilty of this, and like you, I have a very private husband. . . and to further complicate matters, he’s in the military and they’re big about “Opsec” which basically means don’t post anything that could in any imaginable way give away even mundane military operations or make you a target for terrorists . . .originally Matt didn’t even want me posting our wedding photos because he was in uniform. Even security issues aside, Matt hates it when I post about him, but sometimes he is so hilarious and our conversations are so nerdy that I end up doing so (hence this blog post and others like it). I’ve kind of made my own grayish guidelines where I only post positives about him . . .oh and not posting about our sex life even when tempted. I think the same goes for kids. If you keep it positive about them, even if some day they find it a little embarrassing, it’s embarrassing in the “Mom, don’t hug me in front of my friends. . .” way rather than the psychologically scarring way.

  10. by Oversharing…. | THE RIERSONS

    On August 14, 2014 at 10:46 pm

    [...] ran across several articles (Parents Magazine and The Wall Street Journal) and blogs over the last week discussing oversharing about [...]