The Reason Why Some Of Us Love Oversharing On Social Media (And Others Really Don't)

Which camp are you?
Are you a social media sharer?
We Are via Getty Images
Are you a social media sharer?

You’re wearing a fire outfit, enjoying brunch with the girlies. You need that boomerang shot of the mimosa for the Insta (duh).

Many of us are prone to sharing everyday snippets (read: highlights) of our lives on social media, showing a curated audience our quirks, realities, and individualities. Some even share more intimate details.

But while some of us are snapping away hands to take that foodie pic, or rapidly firing away a Tweet to share something that happened, others are quietly watching on.

These people – who are no better or worse than their counterparts – may or may not be on social media, but they certainly choose to be less active.

So, what separates us? Are there inherent qualities that make some of us more prone to sharing online than others?

The obvious indicator of posting likelihood is age, says Dr Melissa Brown, associate professor of communications at Santa Clara University.

She tells HuffPost UK: “The main sociological explanation, among internet users is age cohort. People whose adolescence and young adulthood are defined by access to internet-enabled technologies essentially grow up online.Their main source of media consumption and communication has transpired on the internet for the better part of the twenty-first century.

“Therefore, norms about appropriate sharing in public spaces are determined by the fact that for many people of the social media generation, public happens online.”

We Are via Getty Images

But not all young people are content-driven socialites. And consider how siblings, who are roughly around the same age and had the same upbringing – in a predominantly digital world – may vary significantly in their online attitudes.

Saba, a nursery teacher from London, says she and her siblings are completely different. “I’m the only one out of my siblings who is really active on social media,” she says.

“One of my brothers isn’t on social media, the other hardly uses his socials, and my sister posts once in a while, [usually] a picture of her plants.

“I, on the other hand, post Reels, Stories, carousels based on experiences, reviews and to support small businesses.”

Differences like this among siblings could come down to character traits, says Louise Tyler, a BACP accredited counsellor. Whether you’re more introverted or extroverted plays a part.

“Just because people are siblings, doesn’t mean they will necessary have the same personality,” she tells HuffPost UK.

“Although environmental plays some part, various studies have found that in fact personality is strongly determined by genetics. Because there is not just one parent involved, genetic inheritance can differ hugely between siblings. There’s room for massive personality differences.

“If we look at the five main personality traits – agreeableness, conscientiousness, extroversion, neuroticism, and openness – of which we are all on a spectrum from high to low, where a sibling sits on the spectrum will play a big part in how likely they are to use social media in a very personal way.”

But ultimately – extroverted or introverted – individuals may cultivate their own social media habits, including oversharing, because it’s about what makes them comfortable. If you’re a chatty Cathy IRL, you may be more inclined to digital chatter, too.

Dr Brown adds: “I think we could all be guilty of oversharing depending on whether or not an internet platform has features that encourages the styles of communication each individual is already comfortable with in offline contexts.”