This week, Hello Flo surfed a very high crimson wave with its new commercial “First Moon Party,” which has racked up more than six million views in just three days (so far). Aside from being extremely entertaining, the (period) spot got me thinking about how parents don’t really stop oversharing once their baby becomes a toddler, or once their first grader enters junior high. For parents who love sharing information about their children, no age is “too old,” and no information is “too private,” especially on sites like Facebook which have become ground zero for overshare. If a kid hits a new milestone, be it “first steps” or “first pubic hairs,” for many parents the immediate reaction is to praise the child on the internet. That’s just how information gets transmitted now; it’s fast, effective, and allows parents to virtually reach every single person they know. In some ways, it’s like sending a totally useless telegram, except that it costs nothing and involves very little effort. Thirty years ago, no one would have considered sending a communiqué about a daughter getting her first period, but today, it’s as easy as ordering a case of tampons off Amazon Prime. I’ve even seen parents discussing their teenager’s “extra long showering habits” on Facebook as though they’re sitting around a bar sharing pitchers of adult beverages, rather than openly exposing their children’s adolescent habits and body changes to everyone they know online. It’s weird.
So in the interest of reminding parents that at some point, the overshare MUST stop, I’ve compiled some examples that detail just a few of the bodily changes that pre-teens and teenagers go through that can really, truly stay offline. Even if parents want to share this stuff with the world, they should know better. We’ve all been through puberty and remember how much it sucks. Just imagine going back in time to all those confusing moments and having your mother share the “big news” not only with a neighbor or an aunt, but with every single person in her social circle. Yikes. Being an adolescent in 2014 is rough.