Yesterday morning, I logged into Facebook (as I do each morning) and saw a post from my cousin’s wife that my cousin had suffered a major heart attack the night before and had open-heart surgery. Thankfully, he will be ok, but the shock of this happening to my cousin at such a young age was intense.
His father wasn’t too thrilled to learn this had been posted on Facebook before he had a chance to let family and friends know what was going on. He was fairly upset that another family member put it out on Facebook but concluded, due to her age, “That’s just this generation, I guess.”
We are living in a time where generations are divided about what constitutes too much information, or “TMI.” To younger generations, putting the word out about significant life events through social media is a quick way to keep friends and loved ones informed. It helps avoid the hassle of individual phone calls, text messages, or emails — and helps keep attention on the task at hand, in this case, helping care for my cousin.
Now that this situation is known, the family is less sensitive to using Facebook to stay on top of the situation. Why? First, because it’s not private anymore. Second, because the updates are relevant and important for those of us following his progress.
The question of brands over-sharing on Facebook is a bit different. The dynamics of what should and what shouldn’t be shared are very different. But there are similarities, too. Posts need to be relevant and they need to come at the right pace. Not surprisingly, there is a direct relationship between the two. The better the posts, the more often people will want to see them.
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