Showing your treasures: TMI

January 24, 2015


“Pull your dress down, darlin’. We don’t show our treasure.”

I saw that quote the other week and it made me laugh, first because it’s so Southern and I spent a good bit of my young adulthood in south. I was even married to a Southern boy, once. Briefly. Very briefly. Does anyone say “darlin’ ” better than a Southern man? I think not.

Oh, was I writing about that quote? Back to it… So I laughed because it was Southern….

But I laughed also because it reminded me that we live in a world of TMI–Too Much Information.  A world in which so many feel compelled to give us personal details that are best kept private. Information that used to be kept under lock and key.

Today, many people almost compulsively pull up our dresses, revealing our privates, in the broader sense of the term. Showing “our treasures.”

In the past, we’d confide our deepest secrets to our diaries, those bound volumes containing all the personal information we reserved for our own eyes only.

Our secret thoughts, desires, whines.

The things we did, scandalous or not.

We’d scribble them down on lined pages, slip the fastener into the lock and turn the tiny key, hiding all in a confidential place.

Now, we can see that same information on blogs, posted for everyone to see. No information is too personal or private.

“I’m just expressing myself!” bloggers protest.  They’d be horrified if  they knew how insecure it made them look.

“Celebrities” today vie for the opportunity to release a sex tape to make money and gain fame. Hard core, too. Nothing hidden.

That’s a pretty literal lifting of the dress.

“I didn’t release it!” they protest about the tape.  No. Your PR staff did it for you.

Do we really want to know this stuff?

I know I don’t.  I’m tempted to say, “Pull your dress down, darlin’. I don’t want to see your treasure.”

So what’s it about? Why do people do this?

They do it for attention.  That’s right. They’re so insecure about what they have to offer that they believe they must lift their dresses to get it.

If only they knew it wasn’t true. That they are ok and whole, dress and all. Just as they are.

That some people will love them and some people won’t and it doesn’t matter.

Every writer draws the line somewhere.  For some it’s sex or politics; for others it’s religion or money.

So, I’m asking:

If you’re a writer or a blogger, where’s your line?

And as a reader, is there anything that’s TMI?


She’s just been told to pull down her dress.




23 comments on “Showing your treasures: TMI
  1. Ah! Loved it. I was just telling Jose a few hours earlier that I won’t be surprised if people start uploading pictures of their morning ablutions to Facebook! 😉

  2. G Angela says:

    Enjoyed reading your post ! I agree with you, as the other day one of my friend commented that being on FB is like having a wash in the public…thanks for sharing

  3. Haralee says:

    Darlin is so Southern! Outrageous behavior for the masses is so easy with social media.

  4. You are so right about TMI being a sign of insecurity! I think I share a lot, but there are so many things to keep to myself or within the family. And with some of the mommy bloggers…I’m just waiting until their kids are teens. There’s a lot of therapy money right there, I’m sure.

  5. Carol, “dahlin…” (I am from the South you know), great post. I believe there’s a difference between having some rule about not letting others see your dirty laundry – that might be helpful if someone actually knew that others might struggle with the same thing – and revealing such detail about your life that you bare your total soul out of some desire to make a splash. And perhaps do damage to the people who are unwittingly revealed as well. I know I try to be aware of my intention all the time.

  6. This is so true Carol. We gone way to far with TMI. I love this quote, “Pull your dress down, darlin’. I don’t want to see your treasure.” That’s a treasure.

  7. I could never talk about my sex life or my bank account on my blog. I cringe when I read about these things on other’s blogs. It’s one thing to talk about how sex is a positive part of your relationship, but it’s quite another to give details and examples. As for finances, I think it’s just gauche and inappropriate to share how much money you make or how well you’re doing financially unless it’s in the context of giving financial advice or if you’re a budget blogger.

    I am far more interested in the thoughts and opinions of bloggers than in their sex lives and income statements.

    I also think that by talking about sex without a purpose – for advice or education or specifically as erotica – women are objectifying themselves – and then they get upset when they’re responded to that way.

  8. Andrea B. says:

    For me there is always a line.

    Though I have publicly written about my struggle with anxiety and am an advocate for mental health, and I’ve written freely about my grief after losing my father, but there’s always a line.

  9. Donna says:

    my line is anything hurtful or embarrassing to my family. One blog I wrote included some very personal information that I thought I had told my children. They were not happy, so I make sure there is full disclosure now. I agree with Sharon, money and sex is not interesting to me, I am turned off with language too colorful also. I love to hear thoughts and opinions, motivational prose and success! I love to read success stories!!

  10. Lisa Froman says:

    I agree with Sharon. In addition, I don’t write about my boyfriend/partner or our relationship, or things that might hurt my divorced parents or my siblings. And I don’t write much about my son..because my love for him is so strong, it feels too personal for me.

    That’s just me though. I write to express, inspire, and sort out how I feel about life and things that are happening in this world.

  11. Nora says:

    Agreed! So do we start a campaign to keep your laundry–dirty or clean–to yourself? wouldn[t that be a revolution~

  12. Karen says:

    We have many lines we just don’t cross: we don’t discuss details of our marriages; we don’t talk about our sex lives (unless we’re giving “advice” as Awesome Advice Central, and even then, very much in moderation); we don’t talk about our kids without getting their explicit permission; and we don’t talk about our personal finances. Oh, and Wendy doesn’t feel comfortable publishing pictures of her grandson.

  13. Diane says:

    My stories are about family. But I’m definitely not pulling THAT dress up! And I don’t want to read about anyone else’s dress, either. 🙂 When I was growing up, I was told that ‘when you know what’s cooking in someone else’s pot, you’re too close’. I’ve seen far too many pots . . .

  14. It’s a great question. Margaret Rutherford mentioned that she’s always checking her intentions and I agree. We should ALWAYS be aware of what affirmation we’re asking for in response to what we’re telling, if only because we may not be prepared NOT to get it. For some, FB is all about that, waiting for “likes.”

    As for TMI, for me it’s a matter of what I do write about rather than what I don’t. I like subjects of self-empowerment, nurturing relationships with grown children, communication when it heals, and in general ways I’ve found to be peaceful and happy which are worth sharing.

    I also think it’s important to be aware of mood when we write. Mood driven posts can be revealing and once the mood passes, well, there you are. Exposed.

    And finally, my husband is southern and yes, he pretty much had me at “Darlin'”

    But that’s all I’m saying.

  15. Great post! Yes, thanks to the internet, we’ve become a world of oversharers. There’s something to be said for keeping a little mystery alive!

  16. Carolann says:

    Oh yes I have a line indeed! Many lines….so many they can extend out to the North Pole! I do share “some” of my personal life as a blogger but, yikes I have lines. I don’t think folks need to know my personal business however boring it might be. I see wayyyyy too many blogger putting it all out there….no and thank you! Not for me 🙂

  17. Kathy says:

    I also agree with Sharon. I would never share sexual or family content that would cause hurt or embarassment to myself or family. I have read some things on some blogs regarding sex life or family tales which have caused me to cringe.
    Great post.

  18. THere is a line that I wont cross but it’s amazing when there is $$ involved how you change your tune. I won’t talk about sex with my husband, but when recently pitched to do a Google hangout, I thought about it for a bit. But decided that what they offered was NOT near enough to reveal that. Other bloggers recently blogged about KY jelly stuff….once again, their isnt enough $$ to get me to do that. It’s just tooooo TMI for me.
    Yet, when LBL products came out, I said I couldn’t see myself doing that, and I have now done probably 8 articles on it. Money was the motivator and then the reaction of readers spurred me on. I
    Interesting topic to talk about!

  19. It seems we’ve seen alot more of this lately and it’s been pretty nasty. I do write about the personal because of what I write about but have some hard and fast rules that I won’t cross ever. Sex is a major one, intimate family details things that I don’t consider are anyone’s business.

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