Have you had this moment recently? You are on Facebook and you sit there weighing whether or not to post about how annoying your boss is, or to vent about your failed date and then you realize–mom is watching and so is your boss. Randall Stross of the New York Times eloquently stated, “Facebook makes sharing easy — too easy, some would say. Because one’s social network often consists not only of actual friends but also relatives and sort-of friends, along with sort-of friends of their sort-of friends, you need to be careful about what you post. Yes, the site does allow you to define smaller circles of friends, but that requires constantly monitoring what should — and should not — be shared with whom.”
We have a lot to share but as evidenced with the rise of Path, the social network that limits your friends group to 50, people are longing for specialized groups where they can have some freedom to actually speak and share openly about what they feel. Other start-ups in this anti-oversharing crowd include GroupMe, Frenzy, Rally Up, Shizzlr, Huddl and Bubbla.
But, do we need these groups? If we take a step back and look at the social media landscape it is pretty easy to see how forums are already filling this niche. On a forum not only can you find like-minded people but you can find like-minded people that want to discuss specific things–like your bad date last night or how to change the oil in your car or even vent about your boss. And while we caution anyone from putting anything on the Internet that they will regret, forums have provided a space where people can speak freely and not worry about whether or not they are oversharing with too many pictures of their Hackintosh or their beagle or whatever your particular interest.