There's a certain kind of oversharing on social media that we're all familiar with: the mundane pictures of somebody's lunch, the stream of selfies, the updates complaining of illnesses. Much of this can come off as uninteresting.
Another kind of oversharing has emerged, though, and it's powerfully interesting, enough to make us uncomfortable at times. We see people taking to Facebook with emotional and intimate stories of parts of their lives, even ones we'd likely never hear about in person. They are deeply personal, bordering on what some would consider too personal for public disclosure.
A mother who posted pictures of her dying baby on her Facebook page ended up getting her account disabled by the site and the images removed. Her example reveals the tension between a willingness to share publically about something painful and personal, while Facebook's own "community standards" were reluctant to allow it.
In our feeds today, we see the aching heart of the mother who lost a child; the procedure-by-procedure updates of a friend going through cancer or another life-threatening illness; the laments of the lonely widow. At times, we wonder should we be seeing this? Or on our own feeds, should we be sharing it?
Oversharing actually has deeper significance than we realize, especially for us as Christians. We shouldn't share arbitrarily, as if our online choices have no bearing on our real life ones. The principle of Philippians 4:8 is as real for our finger that hits the "send" button as it is for our mouths, minds, and hearts. Is it pure? Is it lovely? Is it just? Is it honorable?
Our posts and pictures should serve a greater purpose than simply garnering likes ...1
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