A couple of days ago, I posted the following on Facebook:
“Two pees in the potty this morning – looks like Evie’s decided it’s time to ditch the diapers. Help!”
13 people “liked” this.
10 friends commented with advice on potty training, or outrage that I’d used the word “diapers” instead of “nappies”.
1 person said “TMI”. Too much information.
And it got me thinking….
What is too much information for Facebook? I’ll be the first to hold my hands up and admit that I am a bit of a Facebook addict – my friends will attest that I can be guilty of being the queen of “too much information”. Perhaps my oversharing elicits laughs, eye-rolls, likes, hides or shares, but I am guilty as charged, and I will take my seat in the oversharing hall of fame. Maybe it’s the bored housewife in me. Maybe it’s a symptom of the loneliness that is inevitable when you move 5,000 miles from all your friends and family. I probably am guilty of sharing too much information. But then, my profile isn’t public – only friends and family can see what I say. If you feel that there is far too much Pepper filling your newsfeed, then feel free to “unfriend” me. Or remove me from your newsfeed and just check in every now and then, whenever you feel the need to enjoy some more Henry and Evie love. It’s fine. I won’t take it personally. I know I can harp on, somewhat.
On the flip side, I don’t share details of my children’s bowel movements. I never mention anything regarding “girl troubles” (unless you count my “oh God, these contractions hurt” posts). I don’t bitch about my friends or family. And I never, ever talk about the ups or downs of my marriage. I try to always bear in mind that my mother-in-law is a Facebook Friend before I hit Post (hello Lorna!). In short, I don’t air my dirty laundry online – some things are sacred.
But if something amuses me, or life throws a little quirk in my direction, then yes, I like to talk about it. And in lieu of having my best friends nearby geographically, I have to share it with them through the wonder of social media. Since moving to the US, I’ve been really terrible at keeping in touch with everyone. I just so rarely find time to write emails. We are up at 7am, and it’s full on, non-stop, fun and games between then and 8pm when Evie finally goes to bed (she ditched her afternoon nap within a month of landing in the Emerald City, at the age of 19 months). I then have an hour to clear up the kitchen after dinner and deal with the minutiae of household chores, then maybe an hour to unwind in front of an episode of Weeds or Breaking Bad. Half an hour later I’m in bed, and maybe an hour after that, Henry is awake and demanding attention again.
Much as I would love to be better at “properly” keeping in touch with my amazing friends, and much as I am constantly aware of this big pillow of guilt sitting on my shoulders over my inability to do so, I feel that Facebook offers me a way of keeping up with everyone, albeit on a superficial level. I can comment on friends’ photos or statuses, or I can invite interaction by posting something along the lines of “Potty training – help!?”. To some, that might be considered too much information. To others, it might be an opportunity to share their wisdom, and slip in a quick “Hi, how are you doing?” at the same time. Either way, I feel that I have a rough idea of what is going on in the lives of my nearest and dearest. And I think they have a good idea of what is going on in ours. My siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles have never met Henry, and I’m afraid that I struggle to find time to email photos. But they all know what he looks like, and know how well he is growing and developing. None of them have seen Evie since she was 18 months old, but they know that she is now much more of a little girl than a baby, and that she is the best big sister to her new baby brother. All thanks to my frequent photo uploads and status updates. The same updates which may bore many (many) to tears, but remain important to many more.
Evie October 2011 – first week in Seattle
Evie – September 2012
So, yes. Hello, my name is Kerstin Pepper and I am a Facebook addict. But….I could be worse!