FOR as long as there has been social media, people have warned us about the concept of oversharing – simply put, sharing too much about our lives.
On Facebook, that considered posting status updates about everything we do and all our opinions; on Instagram, it’s about sharing pictures of our food and things we do that are better kept in private; on Snapchat, those are ten minutes long stories that document a day in our lives.
That’s what we have been warned about. However, nobody warned us about the effect somebody else’s oversharing could have on us, the audience.
Take for example Dodie Clark, a singer-songwriter, author and artist who originated from YouTube. Aside from having a successful musical career, Dodie still remains on YouTube where she posts new music and vlogs about her daily life every few weeks. She speaks about mental illnesses, sex, acne and other topics that are considered taboo in the world of social media.
However, Dodie is an example of a celebrity guilty of oversharing. On Snapchat, she posts about her entire day as a replacement for a daily vlog she used to do – and these snaps often include some notion of her problems with mental disorders. Nearly everyday, she posts a snap of her post-crying and sometimes it escalates and she posts a snap while crying. On YouTube, she posted a video about herself on a day depression hit her and talked about it. Her Instagram is filled with long, artistic captions that are very often either related to mental illness or Dodie’s heartbreak and similar.
Dodie addressed her oversharing in a video couple of months ago, realizing it is not a good thing. Most of the comments on the video agreed with her and some of them even admitted they stopped following her on social media because of it.
One commenter said she thinks “mental illness has become part of [Dodie’s] branding and [Dodie] romanticize[s] it sometimes”. Several others admitted Dodie’s captions make them feel uneasy, sad and depressed. Others have expressed their concern for the effect of her videos on younger generations who are watching her.
Dodie once tried a type of pills for depression and ranted about them on her Snapchat video, one commenter said, and it made them decide against taking pills for themselves because they thought it wouldn’t work.
However, many others are thankful for Dodie’s raw honesty about mental illnesses, mainly depression, which help them understand what it feels like and how to deal with it. As she doesn’t shy away from the scary parts, which is something many criticise her for, it is exactly what offers them a different perspective to the kind of romanticizing of mental illness generally present in social media.
As proven by this video and Dodie’s fanbase, celebrities have a massive impact on how we think and act. Impact audience gains from someone’s oversharing is real and dangerous to the audience and it is not only Dodie who is guilty of it. There are many others, including Bella Thorne and the Kardashians.
Before you follow someone who overshares, ask yourself this: are you ready to be exposed to everything the person is going through?