OVERSHARING-The New Normal at Work
Hey! How was your weekend?
Good, how was yours?
Great, well have a great day!
The dialogue above would be a typical conversation between coworkers on a Monday. Well, not anymore. Typical office chatter now requires answers to the following questions? Where did you go? Who did you go with? How did you get there? What was your opinion? Why did you go there? Yes... I know it's very invasive and feels somewhat awkward to share personal information with strangers, but that's the way of the world now. I've actually witnessed former colleagues cringe while answering these types of questions. Sadly, if they didn't share this information freely with their coworkers, they run the risk of become labeled as anti-social, sneaky or even weird. It's not right, it's mean, it's hurtful but most of all, it's disrespectful.
America is known as a melting pot. We are a nation filled with different religions, creeds, races and nationalities. So, what may seem like friendly and open dialog among coworkers for one individual may not be so welcoming to another. We must consider others before labeling and judging. What if you were in this predicament and only felt comfortable sharing very basic information about your life? What if I didn't invite the whole office to my birthday party? Am I wrong? Am I allowed to keep precious moments with my close family and friends? Can I politely decline your request to add me on every social media site? What happened to not mixing business with pleasure?
I remember working for a company and feeling like I would be stigmatized if I hadn't sent a picture of my baby as soon as I delivered. I felt extreme pressure to send something...even if it was an email with round the clock updates of my labor. "Hi, it's me again, I'm about 4 cm dilated and I'm still in pain." No one should ever feel that pressured. However, considering that we spend most of our day with these "strangers" (at least 40 hours a week), we should try to find a good balance between sharing too much and far too little. If you're like me and care to keep some things sacred, then be modest with sharing bits and pieces of information. Don't be timid in letting others know that you live a somewhat private life and would feel comfortable sharing information at your leisure.
Don't OVERSHARE, but share just ENOUGH!