How Transparent Should Our Social Media Lives Be? Oversharing in the Name of Vulnerability


A while back I had to unfollow someone on social media because of too much transparency.

I'm all for sharing parts of your life on social media, but there is a line that can be crossed. There's a time and a place for sharing the details of the demise your marriage, or complications getting pregnant or losing or child or the sin you've dealt with. Dumping it all on social media just to dump in the name of vulnerability or transparency is just too much.

If you are going to fully bare details of your life on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or via blog, it should be to help someone who is struggling in the same area and to show them how God brought you through.

Second Corinthians 4:3-5 (MSG) says: All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. We have plenty of hard times that come from following the Messiah, but no more so than the good times of his healing comfort—we get a full measure of that, too.

We are comforted to comfort someone else...and that very well may include sharing how we endured adultery in marriage or drug abuse in our 20s. These days, it seems the sharing is to boost readership and keep readers staring and unable to turn away like when they see a train wreck.

Some people feel they owe their readers something. The truth is, when we share part of our lives on social media, we don't owe readers an inside track into our personal lives. Sometimes it 's just too much...especially if what is being shared is present tense and there are other parties involved who may be negatively affected.

"One man's transparency is another's humiliation." -Gerry Adams

If we are going to lay our lives out like an open book, it should be done with a purpose: To help others along in life to get to the other side of a trial or difficult situation and it should ultimately point people to Christ. I'm all for sharing that is relevant and purposeful.

In Christian circles, where we pride ourselves on sanctification and purity, some bare their lives on all levels with reckless abandon. What is it about social media that makes its users lose all sense of boundaries with sharing? Sometimes reading what people share makes me want to cover my eyes because I just feel like I've seen and heard too much about people who I don't even know.

There are times when vulnerability is warranted: with our spouses, and those we love and care for deeply who have earned our trust and respect.

What do you think? Do you sense a spirit of over-sharing on social media? I'd love to hear your thoughts.