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Beware overshare

By Suzanne Rent

In the mid ‘90s, Kids Say the Darndest Things was a hit series hosted by legendary comic Bill Cosby. Prompted by Cosby’s questions on a number of topics, all delivered in his classic deadpan manner, kids willingly shared their wise and hilarious answers. Audiences, especially parents, loved this show because they could relate to the unexpected insights that came out of the mouths of those babes. Such is the wit and honesty of children.

Of course, you don’t need a show to share such stories with friends and family; it’s practically a rite of passage for all parents. And these days we can share those funny moments with our friends and, well, everyone through social media. I often do this through what I call the Quote of the Day (QOTD), a humourous one-liner delivered by my equally hilarious daughter. I have numerous friends, virtual and otherwise, who do the same.

But while we get a collective kick out of sharing these anecdotes, I do on occasion find myself going back and deleting a QOTD or a conversation I’ve had with my daughter. It’s true that I find her especially funny—I always said having a kid is like having your very own standup comic. And she’s built up a little fanbase from my collection of online friends, some who have told me they look forward to her jokes and thoughts. Yet I often ask myself, “Am I invading her privacy and embarrassing her by posting online every funny thing she says?” And now she’s onto me. For the past number of months, after saying something rather witty, she will give me permission (or not) to post it on Facebook. I respect her for that and there are some stories we like to keep to ourselves.

The Internet and social media can be great parenting tools. We go online to get parenting advice from friends and experts. We toss out questions in parenting forums and on Facebook and get back a plethora of answers. We post pictures of our kids in the tub or wearing hilarious outfits. And we share funny parenting stories and jokes. But are we guilty of oversharing? Is there a little TMI online when it comes to parenting? Are you guilty of over sharing online? It’s something to think about in an age when what we put online never really goes away. While those anecdotes may make for great stories to share at their weddings, maybe our kids won’t have the last laugh. 


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