March 24th, 201011 comments Posted in Pop Culture
Dan says “Got Boobies?”
You can never be too rich or too thin. Can you be too sharey?
To Jane’s credit, she’s introduced me to more online fun in the last few months of this blog than I’ve had in years. Twitter, for example. I had no idea there were so many women out there who wanted to show me their boobs. I mean, Boobie Wednesday? Can I get a “Hell yes?” And then there’s those that want to tell me all about their methodologies, techniques, and love, really, of giving blowjobs.
And where else but Twitter can you get real-time updates of the dissolution of a woman’s marriage, her plans for coitus later that evening, and then the post-game wrap-up the next morning?
Countless men have forever been unafraid to share the status of their erections with anyone who’ll listen. That’s not new. But with the coming of age of social media, it seems the fairer gender’s kitty has grown to become a lion, and on sites like Twitter, you can listen to it roar. And roar. And roar some more.
Some people call that oversharing. I call it more, please. Webster’s calls it the 2008 Word of the Year.
But even I have my limits. And this is the part where you call me a heartless bastard. A coochie-spying, heartless bastard.
I get that publishing life’s difficult moments on the web for all to read can be cathartic. Sites like Violence Unsilenced, detailing people surviving abuse, can help one to unload a burden they may have been carrying for a long while. I just hope you don’t mind if I stop listening to what you have to say, if that becomes the only thing you have to talk about.
Take ToddlerPlanet, for example. Tough cookie. Survived TWO forms of aggressive cancer and a double-mastectomy. And though I had never “known her” before the breast cancer, I tried to hang with her. Offer encouragement. But after two months of daily “what happens if I die” and “chemo sucks” I had to ask myself if this person I didn’t really know was worth the emotional investment. And the answer was no. It was too much of that kind of buzz-harshing, melancholy-inducing sharing that I just didn’t need in my life.
…but Jane thinks…
Jane wishes like hell that she sometimes looked before she leapt. And especially before she sends Dan running down some cyberalley with his hair on fire all jazzed up about the newest form of social networking. Jane recently….Halt.
No more third person.
This issue about personal disclosure is problematic for me. I write a blog. Hell, I write on four different blogs. And I’m a chronic oversharer in my personal life. My edit function is faulty; not much gets stuck in the trap and I say things other people do not. Sometimes, this is good. It’s hard for people to argue that I’m not genuine. Sometimes, less good. It’s easy for people to argue that I’m exhausting and have boundary issues such that “boundary issues” equals lack of couth.
I am disturbed by the fact that popular culture seems to be brainwashing us into believing that it’s normal and relevant and useful to televise the rehab experiences of celebrities or the, however manufactured and artificial, desperate pursuit of true love and a happily-ever-after. Back in the day, the Real World on MTV was, in fact, of sociological and entertainment interest: a glimpse into the lives of people unlike you. But that snowball just kept rolling down hill and suddenly I’m contending with Tila Tequila and people tweeting about their genitalia.
I readily acknowledge that I am also a bit of a tough audience, in terms of reasonable critical thinking about personal disclosure in the media (social or otherwise). I am both outrageously liberal and a terrific snob. So my judgment about what I think is acceptable is colored by whether or not I think the person disclosing is a) intelligent and “gets it” and b) not gross and tacky. If I were to say, unequivocally, I don’t want to hear about your bodily functions because that’s too much disclosure, I’d be lying. Because then I’d miss stuff like this gem from Mr. Lady, which I love. Further muddying the waters is that I have the sense of humor of a twelve year old boy. I love me a good fart joke as much as the next middle schooler.
I can’t draw a clear line in the sand, then, about what I think is TMI and what I think is Just Right Information. I think it comes down to motivation. If someone’s motivation is to inspire, support, entertain, educate, or even to force us all to bear witness, then self-disclosure of the kind that someone else might construe as oversharing is OK with me. If an oversharer’s motivation is to present a false facade, manipulate, shock, or elicit praise or sympathy? Not so much. I feel like so much that people are putting out there – in a kind of miniaturized version of the Bachelor wherein dumber-than-average girls contort themselves into what they think some douchey guy wants – is show-offy and sort of pathetic. Also, if you make me throw up in my mouth, I am not pleased.
The only other point I think it’s critical I make here is this: If Dan thinks something is OK and I think it’s skeevy? Maybe I’m just PMSing (overshare, ah, sweet irony), but chances are it’s skeevy.