I would expect that next year, people will share twice as much information as they share this year, and next year, they will be sharing twice as much as they did the year before.

– Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder

 

Online dating is much easier than it was a couple of years back, and people constantly meet love interests on available platform. While it takes away the stress of having to search too long for love, people have had terrible experiences as well. Every day, we hear stories of people being catfished or duped online.  Recently, there was a thread on twitter where a lady confesses to meeting a man online and within a few months, the man strips her of her money, personal information, and dignity.  She had been explicit in her online profile and answered all questions the man asked for, giving full details the with the hope that it would draw them closer. Her intentions may have been pure, but she ended up with a sociopath who conned her, based on the information she gave. Instead of finding the perfect man, she became the perfect prey of a sociopath. Her one mistake clearly was ‘oversharing’.

With Twitter, Instagram and other social media sites now being the norm for communication, oversharing has become commonplace. Everyone seems to know everything about everyone.  You can easily find out what your friend’s mum cooked for dinner, and you can even see people tweet about their medical procedures. It is becoming rather difficult for most people to know what to share and what not to share, especially when dating. How then can you protect yourself and control how much information you share, even when you think you have found your soul mate? We have some suggestions to corral your tendency to overshare:

Don’t lay all your information out there. Don’t put anything on the internet or tell anyone else what you would not want your mother, grandmother, father, brother, sister to hear! Let there be things that no one but your family and closest friends know. It is healthy to still have secrets.  Terrible people can find your information and either use it against you, or they can share it with others you don’t necessarily want it shared with. Again, no matter how confident you are or how much you like him, do not send sexy photos. One wrong move and those photos are everywhere.  It happens all the time.

Be aware of your surroundings. Many people have lost great opportunities, relationships and even their lives to oversharing. Being on the cell phone or texting all the time makes you highly distracted, a car could be coming towards you or a piece of your favourite heirloom may have fallen off, and you’re not really paying attention.  Put down the phone so you can be aware of who is around, when you spend time each day being aware of your surroundings, you limit your sharing and raise your “street smarts”. There is this common joke said of a girl who got in an accident and while the people around were trying to help her out of her car, she ignored them and instead tweeted ‘dying things’. There is a huge chance that she had been on her phone when the accident happened.

Don’t be available every second of every day to everyone. A ringing phone is a request, not a demand.  And that goes for texts as well.  Take some time each day away from your phone and computer.  Learn some control and self-restraint. Read a book, go for a walk, or just turn it off and take a nap.  When you are always available, you tend to talk a lot and share too much information.  If you start to curtail your oversharing in general, it will do you good when you need to step back and learn about a new person in your life

Don’t spend all your time talking about you. You have to observe other people. Don’t mention rocky relationships with family members or your family drama, your terrible exes or bring up any of your health issues.Your date doesn’t need to know about your psoriasis or prescription medication. Don’t complain about your co-workers or drama at work. For one, you never know who they may know, and two, you’ll just come off as a negative, drama-centric person and that’s not attractive. Get to know the other person and see if he/she is someone YOU want to be around.  If you talk about you, you, you, you will have no information to go on when you want to evaluate how things went.  Ask open-ended questions and listen to the answers.  Get a sense of who someone is from sitting with them and looking into his eyes, not just believing what you’ve read in email, text or on the phone.

Stop sharing in public.  Be aware of people around you.  No one wants to hear about the sex you had last night or your appointment with the doctor while in the supermarket buying groceries.  Call your friends when you get home.  I’ve heard so many people swearing on their cell phones in the presence of older people and children because they are oblivious and only care about their own conversation.  It’s rude and crude.  Come back to polite society.

There are many reasons to stop the oversharing, but your mental health and well being are the main reasons.  If you are a single person who wants to be empowered, you have got to stop oversharing and take control. Tone it down.  Your life will thank you for it.

Image Source: Zumi

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