Monday, April 10, 2006

Too Much Information

Do you ever find yourself in a situation where you just met somebody, and they feel that it is entirely appropriate to tell you EVERY SINGLE detail of their life? I mean, obviously, anyone who has a blog (or reads blogs) must feel part exhibitionist and part voyeuristic, but you always know that if the reader is not interested, they can just click away.
So, what do you do when you find yourself in a very personal conversation about--(a) considering changing majors from one field you know nothing about to another field you also know nothing about (b) being from a nearby small town (and not planning to go anywhere else) (c) how "momma" helps out with everything (d) going through a "messy" divorce and (e) an ex-hubby who abused daughter-- with someone whom--(a) you don't know (b) can't get the "I was busy" signal and (c) you can't relate to?? Yes, this happened to me. Today.
She sat down by me (I was sudying/doing crossword/listening to mp3) and asked me a perfectly benign question about student IDs. That led to a discussion about classes and advisors. That led to her explaining about having a "hard time" in school...due to the very serious issues of her "messy" divorce. That led to a discussion about how you just "don't know someone." Really, it was a hard story, but I really felt uncomfortable. See, I tend to worry about other people's problems, and hearing her story really made me unhappy. (Her ex-husband molested her daughter when she was 3! She also told me other very personal things that I won't mention here.) But, I figured that maybe she just wanted/needed to talk? So I listened.
After about 30 minutes, she said that she had to get going, and we exchanged our "Nice to Meet Yous." So, now I'm wondering, do y'all share your personal information with people you don't know? Okay, that's a silly question. I guess the better question would be: Is talking about personal stuff In Person any different than talking about it On a Blog (or in some other Detached media)?


At 7:19 PM, Blogger JustRun 's valuable input...

I know this all too well. People tend to tell me everything without hesitation. I may have been a bartender in a previous life.

As for if it's different than blogging, I'd say yes, if you're like me and you're anonymous on your blog.

At 7:31 PM, Blogger Celina 's valuable input...

I don't know if it was me, or her. People don't usually just spill their guts to me, but I have been told that I'm "easy to talk to."
And, as far as anonymous blogs, sometimes I wish I had done that...but then the main reason I started it was for our's like a paradox, or something. :)

At 8:01 AM, Blogger Mon 's valuable input...

I work with handicapped/mentally crazy people at my second job, so I put my headphones. Stare at the computer and act oblivious to them talking to me. Then it isn't like your being a jerk cus you can't hear them. Only cus you get paid per keystroke and if you stop working and listen to them talk they'll never leave!
I think not being anonymous helps me personally with my inner issues. I've hid some things most of my life that I talk about and this way it's like coming out without having to. If that makes sense.

At 9:39 AM, Blogger ccw 's valuable input...

I posted about this before after the complete stranger told me her entire gynecological history and that of her daughters while we waited in line at the post office.

Mr. MFBA got the rundown on a stranger's teenage son and his custody battle with tyhe ex-older girlfriend at the dentist.

I do not do this, but I always assume that when people share this much info that they simply need to get it off their chests. I think it's weird, but I have this happen to me frequently.

At 10:02 AM, Blogger Gary 's valuable input...

Sounds like this woman was desperate for someone to listen to her problems. I think she really needs a blog. People blog for all sorts of reasons, and she really needs to feel like she's being heard.

BTW, I guess you know I love your posts. You take interesting pictures too.


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