The holidays bring about joy and stress alike, as we’re faced with seemingly never-ending to-do lists. Cooking, baking, visits from loved ones, and last-minute gift shopping. The holidays can be overwhelming, and people need somewhere to vent. But is oversharing on social media a good way to let off some steam? Or does it do more harm than good? How do we best utilize social media during the holidays?

The social media boom

During the last couple of years, certain social media platforms have been enjoying phenomenal success, a development that the COVID-19 pandemic only furthered. Social media gives people the power to express themselves in whatever way they see fit. It truly opens a world of possibilities in terms of both cross-continental and interest-based communication. Exploring new communities and connecting with like-minded people has never been this easy. But neither has certain addictive behaviors.

Online oversharing

Validation is a powerful drug, one that most social media apps and websites of our day have made readily available. This, in turn, gives way to boundless oversharing. Social media sites invite such oversharing as it is so rather easy to post a quick status update, discuss an upcoming event, upload a flattering photo, or check in with friends and followers. It has offered us a window into the lives of others that we would’ve never had before. And in some sense, it has also jeopardized our general safety online.

A very mask-y Christmas

But with the holidays (especially Christmas) being a joyous time meant for us to share various intimate moments with those closest to us, how do we reconvene the dangers of oversharing with our current, relatively restrictive reality? The following are a few easy tips on how to comfortably (and safely) collect those precious Instagram double-taps:

#1 Don’t discuss your gifts openly; good or bad

Discussing the inmost details of your Christmas bounty can pose a variety of risks. From the very real threat of imminent robbery (specifically if you’re one to boast about expensive gifts) to the much less dangerous but still rather critical risk of upsetting a loved one with an outward lack of appreciation for their otherwise thoughtful presents. Practice the art of valuing family over luxuries presents, as only one of those things, is truly invaluable.

#2 Family drama should remain offline

All families have their bout of misplaced tension and open secrets, which means we’re bound to not like certain relatives. But publicly bashing a mouthy cousin or airing out your weird uncle’s dirty laundry online would only bring about momentary satisfaction. One immediately followed by an awkward passing of the roast potatoes. Social media isn’t the place to solve family problems. So be careful who and what you post about during this season.

#3 Live in the moment

Despite the many years of technological advancement and the prevalence of social media, having your phone handy while sitting at the dinner table with your family is still something a great number of families would consider rude. Furthermore, spending your entire holiday break sorely fixated on your next aesthetic picture post or catchy caption might mean missing out on some truly magical moment. So, make sure to put your phone down, keep the social media posts during the holidays to a minimum and cherish this truly special time with your friends and family.  

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An avid reader and freelance writer with a passion for intercultural communication and cultural analysis. A twenty-something social media newbie exploring the good, the bad and the ugly of the many platforms that make up our current worldview.