From Facebook to Instagram to Snapchat to Vine, social media has taken over the Internet. And it may have already taken over your life. It's perfectly justifiable that you want to keep in touch with friends, family, colleagues, etc. It's also understandable that you want to share your most precious life moments with friends and followers.
But how far is too far? How do you know when you've stepped over the line and are oversharing on social media? When do you realize you've gone from networking to being terminally addicted?
1. Strangers Recognize Your Baby
They get it. You're a proud mommy or daddy. And you've flooded your Facebook with a deluge of baby pictures. Your little bundle of joy is soooo cute. From baby's first bottle to baby's first steps, it's all out there for everyone to see. Yes, even the first time that little Madeleine used the potty all by herself.
Then it gets weird. You're out at the mall with your kid when some random stranger approaches the stroller and blurts out, "Awww. Maddy is even cuter in person!" Time to cut down on the Facebook posts, or at best, limit who can see them!
2. You Order Food Just so You Can Instagram It
When normal people go out for dinner at a restaurant, they pick the item on the menu that they think they will enjoy the most. But you're not normal people. You pick dishes based on how you think they'll look when you snap a pic and post it on Instagram.
The beef stew sounds delicious, but it's probably just going to be a brown blob. Even though you're deathly allergic to seafood and nuts, the hazelnut-crusted halibut topped with sauteed scampi is much better looking. And then your food gets cold while you take the next 15 minutes trying to get just the right angle with just the right lighting for your #foodporn shot.
It doesn't matter. Camera eats first. Camera always eats first.
3. You Live Tweet Every Show You Watch (Even Reruns)
It's called the second screen, but your smartphone is number one in your eyes. Every time you decide to plant yourself on the couch, whether it's for the Super Bowl or for the Real Housewives, you can't help but to whip out your phone to let the world share your experience as you watch it.
Even if no one is listening.
Even if it's a rerun.
Because no one needs to know how you feel when you hear those iconic words for the umpteenth time, "I, Ross, take thee, Rachel," Gasp! It's not exactly a spoiler alert.
4. Missing an #OOTD Selfie Gives You a Nervous Tic
The morning routine is pretty typical. You hear the alarm. You hit the snooze button. You hear the alarm. You hit the snooze button. You hear the alarm, wake up in a panic realizing you're already a half hour late, throw together a cup of instant coffee that immediately spills and scorches your lap, curse profusely, and check your email. Typical stuff.
Also typical for you is getting dressed, posing in front of the bathroom mirror, and sharing your outfit of the day (#OOTD) picture with your adoring fans. This morning, however, there's a power outage in the area, knocking out the local cell towers and your home Wi-Fi. You have no Internet. You can't post your #OOTD.
Your hands start to shake. There is a persistent itch on your arm. How can the world go on if they can't see your cute new maxi dress?
5. Likes and Retweets Validate Your Existence
How do you measure happiness? Is it through a sense of personal fulfillment? Inner peace? The number in your bank account? As you go about your day, posting cheeky, emoticon-filled pictures on Snapchat and inspirational quotes on Facebook, you wonder to yourself which moments are more valuable or more meaningful.
Don't worry. Your friends will tell you. The moments that are getting the most likes, comments and retweets are obviously the best. It's basic math. So keep posting those vacation pictures with your baby at the seafood restaurant in your snazzy new outfit of the day. As philosopher René Descartes once said, "I got likes, therefore I am."
Getting Too Social With Your Media
Social media is an incredible tool that can be used for both good and evil. But when you feel compelled to share a picture of your kid covered in his own puke instead of grabbing a towel, you may have gone too far. That's just TMI - even for your BFF.