I simply adore my sweet 10-year-old baby boy, Riggins, and I feel like all of my friends should love him, too. But when does sharing my darling pup on social media become oversharing? Sometimes I’m afraid I cross the line.
Riggins is my life. He is adorable and sweet, and he fills my heart with love. I feel like my friends should be thrilled to have him fill up their social media feeds. What could possibly be better than his sweet pumpkin eyes staring at you every time you check Facebook?
When I first put a profile on that social media platform, I was careful to post limited pictures of myself — after all, who cares about what I’m doing? Riggins, on the other hand, was the star of my wall, and I’m confident that some people have blocked me from their feed due to my oversharing. A couple years ago I was at a party, and a “friend” I hadn’t seen in years asked who the dog I was with was. “Riggins,” I responded with very little patience. “That dog you knew as a puppy. The sweet boy who is all over my Facebook page. Riggins.” Obviously that dude had blocked me from his feed eons before that!
At first I didn’t sweat the possibility of oversharing. After all, do you know how many human-child pictures I have to scroll through? Dozens! First day of school, Halloween parades, park days, crazy hair day, school pride day, camp, birthdays … it is an endless list. I once swore that for every picture of her children a friend posted, I would post a picture of Riggins. If I had to sit through a nonstop supply of kid photos, it seemed fair that others sit through an endless supply of Riggins posts. No matter how insane it became, I clicked that “add photo” button again and again. It was a disease I couldn’t nor wanted to ever get over!
I finally realized I was going a little overboard and that there was a good chance even my closest friends where hiding my posts from their feeds. I had to ask myself, did I really need to share all of my Riggins moments? The answer was YES. So I did what any logical person would do. I moved my crazy from Facebook to Instagram.
I’m a visual person. Honestly, a social media share means very little to me unless there is a snapshot attached. For people like me, Instagram is nirvana. At the time, very few of my friends were on that platform, so I could happily share zillions of pictures of my baby with total strangers to my little heart’s content. It was perfect. I got to share without annoying those Facebook friends I apparently cared enough about to save from my insanity.
Of course, I couldn’t go cold turkey from Facebook. I just couldn’t imagine a world where people would be without their daily Riggins dose! That’s simply a world I don’t want to live in.
When I became a dog sitter, I started taking pictures of all the pups in my care for their folks. It was the perfect excuse to share more Riggins pictures. I would post photos of the dogs during the day, but honestly it was just a way to be sneaky and get more Riggins in front of people! “Perhaps no one will notice if I sandwich his image between a few other dogs,” I thought.
Eventually, the “all Riggins feed” became the “all dog feed,” and I had to re-evaluate. Genius struck, and I started a Facebook page for my dog-sitting business, The Active Pack. I was now free to post as many Riggins pictures as I wanted with the knowledge that only those friends who truly wanted to see pups in their feed would follow the page. It was such a relief. I felt I could post and share without judgement.
I’ve stopped short of making Riggins his own Facebook page. Honestly, it’s because I’m too busy to keep it as active as it should be. It’s not like I don’t have enough material. I have access to thousands of Riggins pictures, and the library grows daily. Every time I turn around, he is doing something so cute I want to shout from the rooftop so everyone is aware of my adorable pup. Riggins’ good doggie friend, Sadie, and Sadie’s cat sister, Bijou (not Riggins friend at all), have their own Facebook page, and I must admit I’m a little jealous. The two of them deserve their page, though. They are a cuddly comical duo. At 10 years old, Riggins spends most of his life sleeping. It’s something I could watch for hours with love in my heart, but I doubt it would be that entertaining to anyone else!
Lately, I’ve regressed a bit, and more Riggins pictures have found their way to my personal Facebook page. I try to tone it down to a “normal” amount, but it’s so hard. Riggins is such a big part of my life. He IS my life. Cutting him from my social media presence isn’t just impossible, it’s hurtful. A part of me feels like my good friends understand this. The others can suck it.
I appreciate those social media friends who take my posts about Riggins seriously and treat them with the same amount of attention as they do friends’ posts about their human children. There are very few things that make me happier than when someone comments on Riggins’ pictures or wishes him a happy birthday. It’s those people who understand how important Riggins is to me and what an adorable creature he is. Those are the folks who are my real friends, not just social media acquaintances!
How much do you share about your dog on social media? Does she have her own accounts? Have you lost followers because of oversharing? Let us know your experiences in the comments!
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About the author: Wendy Newell is a former VP of Sales turned Grade A Dog Sitter. After years of stress, she decided to leave the world of “always be closing” to one of tail wags and licks. Wendy’s new career keeps her busy hiking, being a dog chauffeur, picking up poo, sacrificing her bed, and other fur-filled activities. Wendy and her dog, Riggins, take their always-changing pack of pups on adventures throughout the Los Angeles area, where they live together in a cozy, happy home. You can learn more about Wendy, Riggins, and their adventures on Facebook and Instagram.