OMG! TMI! (8 Reasons You Know You’re Guilty)
Today’s world is lived online and TMI (too much information) is rampant. Here are 8 reasons you know you’re guilty of TMI.
1. Everyone in the canned veggie aisle at the Piggly-Wiggly knows the real reason you’ll never buy that brand of baked beans again.
2. The minute you say, “Guess what I did with whipped cream and a frozen chicken last night?” you’ve cleared the room.
3. Your visit to the ice cream parlor for a triple-scoop sundae resulted in the store owner deciding that selling products for lactose intolerance would be a real moneymaker.
4. Your friends envy your marriage, but they won’t ask how you keep the romance alive. Not. Ever. Again.
5. Your Pap smear results show up on Facebook with an accompanying photo of the funny cartoons taped to the ceiling in the gynecologist’s exam room.
6. Your kids are afraid to talk to you about sex because once some images are burned into the brain, there’s just no getting rid of them.
7. The guy at the liquor store won’t let you buy Everclear because of what happened the last time you drank that stuff (and he wasn’t even born yet).
8. Everyone on Instagram knows the layout of your bathroom and that you don’t always remember to flush.
We all know someone who’s guilty of giving up TMI. Heck, sometimes we are that someone. It’s easy to share too much these days, especially with the illusion created by the internet that we’re all virtual roomies. I’m not advocating being secretive or hiding the truth about ourselves, but at the same time, a little mystery isn’t a bad thing either.
I’m as guilty as anyone of blabbing way more than I should, but I have an excuse. I’m a writer, a blogger—of course I give out TMI. My vocation gives me a bit of a pass in the TMI department—a little wriggle room, if you will—although I do make an effort to temper how much I divulge. I would never share something as personal as my bra size, for example (34C), or the truth about my hair color (L’Oreal Preference 6G). Oops.
The thing about TMI is that once it’s been vomited out there, there’s no sucking it back into the belly of the beast. And the internet makes it indelible, doesn’t it? Back in the days before we lived our lives online, if we blabbed TMI the only thing we had to worry about was the depth of a listener’s memory.
These days, when we yak it up on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, whatever—it stays out there for all the world to see. These outlets have given us an immediate forum. There is no cooling off period. We think it, we post it. Bam! TMI.
TMI has cost people their careers, their relationships, their reputations (Anthony Weiner, anyone?). So while I may tease that my writerly status allows me to cross the line, the truth is, we should all think before we post.
In writing, TMI can be detrimental, too. Have you ever read a book or short story and been overwhelmed with the amount of information the author dropped on you all at one time, or perhaps too early in the book? Just like in real life, TMI in fiction can ruin the thrill of pulling back the layers of a story to find the heart beneath. It’s a challenge to weave those threads, to introduce the right information at the right time, and for an author, not giving out TMI is central to drawing the reader in and showing him reasons why he should stay.
TMI is like throwing a boulder in the water. It causes a splash that leaves the recipient of the deluge wet and annoyed. We ought to toss pebbles instead, and allow our audience to share in the journey of the ripples.
Thanks for stopping by, Buttercup! See you next week for more of the naked truth about . . . Queries and Submissions.
Have a wonderful Wednesday!