Sunday, July 29, 2007

TMI syndrome

I was a bit more inhibited when I was younger. I wasn’t the type who’d easily open up to other people; even to the school’s peer counselors and my close relatives. It was hard to get to me… there was a certain level of friendship and trust to establish before I’d be comfortable to share my personal life with anyone.

Back then, I joined social networking sites for fun. The primary reason was just to be there. While some of my friends endeavored to grow their friends list, I used the accounts I created to view other people’s profiles. I wanted to see what they were doing, how they spent their time, who their friends were, and how cool they presented themselves (truthful or not). I wasn’t really concerned with growing my network (I won’t add you if I don’t know you).

It took me a while to be comfortable with the whole social networking thing, but eventually, I opened up and started posting photos, filling up my profile, writing testimonials, and blogging. Of all these, blogging is most effective to me because it’s therapeutic. I get to write about anything, rave or rant. I get to keep my thoughts and be reminded of them. When I read my previous posts, especially those that are years old, I still remember where I was when I wrote them, why I was feeling what I was feeling.

My mom asked me, if it’s something personal, why do I need to keep it online for the world to see? Why not the old school journal? The answer (vs. old school journal) is simple. Typing is much more painless than doing it longhand, and it also doesn’t take up physical space. So mom (if one day you get to read this), I’ll just blog so you wouldn’t have to nag me all the time to throw away stuff and manage the clutter in my room. You know I have a problem with letting go of sentimental stuff, even my Sweet Valley collection.

The increased usage of (or access to) the Internet and the proliferation of social networking sites such as Friendster, MySpace, Multiply, Live Journal, and what not have all contributed to the openness that we’re experiencing today. Increased individualism, they say. These sites encourage us to share our lives, reach out to other people, and look into their lives as well.

The openness in cyber world can sometimes be carried out in actual verbal conversations. At one point, most of us are probably guilty of sharing too much information (TMI). Some people can take their blogs so seriously they’re oversharing already.

Wikipedia defines TMI as "a slang expression indicating that someone has divulged too much personal information and made the listener uncomfortable." This happens to me sometimes when I go drinking with friends, I hear things I don’t want to hear (haha).

On my part, oversharing happens but not in a way that whoever I’m talking to becomes uncomfortable. More often than not, I overshare in a sense that I become too transparent with my thoughts and feelings, allowing people to see right through me. Especially in professional environments, I do recognize that people should be more careful not to overshare so as not to make themselves vulnerable or expose their vulnerability. One time, while reading the papers, I heard someone say, "Crush ko talaga si Kirk Long! Pangalan pa lang, crush ko na siya... Kirk LONG." Tssss... Revealing to much (yea yea!).

There’s an exception to the rule, though: when we’ve established that level of friendship and trust, oversharing could even be healthy.

Crush ko rin si Kirk Long! Haha