I heard this word for the first time from a student in one of my classes. He was giving way too much information about his personal life – making other students uncomfortable. I see it now in various settings. For example, LinkedIn is for business and professional information. Most social media folks feel personal stories and photos don’t belong there.
I use my Twitter account as a professional tool. It has a professional handle and over the last year I’ve gotten better about following people who tweet about professional, related topics. I wrote a blog about the weird, sexy head shots some professional women use there. To me, cleavage is a little too personal if your content is of a professional nature. The rule of thumb for me on that is – What do you want people thinking about when you’re talking to them? The words and points you are making or the shape of your body. At work I’m looking for the words and points!
Facebook is a place where people definitely overshare. I like to read about basic news of family, graduations, etc. Not all that interested in drinking/drunk pictures. I’m also a little uncomfortable when people at either end of the spectrum go too far down the political path. I have a wide mix with a smattering of far left and far right. One far right person unfriended me because of stuff my other friends were posting. Oh well.
Employees clearly overshare in the workplace about their illnesses, surgeries and personal troubles. I have been called upon to help companies make a healthy shift in the milieu. It is complicated and requires a multi-pronged approach but involves orienting employees to HIPAA guidelines and such.
Finally, the dreaded friend overshare. The worst for me is graphic detail about an illness. Seriously. Do not need to know what flu symptoms kept you up at night.
If you have employee overshare stories I would love to hear them. @HRSociology.
(c) BCSPublishing 2012 all rights reserved