WWYD? Have Four Letters Have Made the Oversharing OK?
"Oh my gosh!!!!! My [boyfriend/friend/husband/parent/child/I] just did this [insert gruesome incident here] WWYD?"
Well obviously the first thing I would do is post it on Facebook... In all seriousness, have we reached a point at which 'What Would You Do' has become a way to legitimately overshare... I mean, if someone is asking for advice then surely its OK?????
YES I hear you scream! Sharing is caring. I help my friends get through the trauma/pain/embarrassment. A problem shared is a problem halved etc. etc. Who else can they tell when their boyfriend asks them to do that, their husband is caught watching this, their best friend says that, their kids behave like this....
So what do we do... instead of seeing the overshare, making a face like someone just passed gas and moving on we feel the need to put in our contribution because, after all, she is asking for advice...
Here's my argument against commenting on the WWYD overshare....
As many have found out, social media posts, just like diamonds, are forever. Not only could it be potentially embarrassing to the person who shares it could be devastating to the person they are talking about even if it was posted anonymously. Comment and all you do is further the share.
Not what DID you do but what WOULD you do, if hypothetically this happened to you? Extreme situations are often unique situations with many nuances that cannot be conveyed in a short post. Are you really ready to pass judgement from the bare minimum of facts?
One of the keys of Facebook is its ability to make everything feel so personal. An algorithmically controlled set of content access permissions is a 'friendship'. Its a 'community' that you 'join' not a service that you sign up for. She isn't talking to you when she posts. She is talking to, in the best case scenario her 'Facebook friends' (note important distinction) or, in worst case, the entire world - after all it is called 'world-wide-web' for a reason.
By commenting on an epic overshare the most you probably DO is validate. Validation is not the root of all evil however, your temporary and transient Facebook comments provide a temporary and transient fix. It might just be the distraction and/or excuse they are looking for to avoid getting the real help from experts such as therapists.
So girls, your best friend epically overshares a horrible situation on Facebook WWYD? Why not pick up the phone, arrange a coffee date and see her face to face. Perhaps that way you can provide an educated perspective and real support system. Maybe she will feel just that little bit less alone in a world where everyone is your friend.