I was there, were you?
Well, it felt like I was there anyway. This week Robbie Williams and his wife Ayda welcomed a little boy into the world and it seems from press reports that the RW camp are doing well as three become four.
Why this doesn’t feel like ‘just another celebrity birth’, is because Robbie created a commentary of the birth experience as, during the labour, in real time, he posted across his social media accounts so fans, haters and the ‘don’t cares’ each had a front row seat.
It’s fair to say there’s been somewhat of a backlash, and it seems in the press and across my social media feeds I’ve seen a lot of feedback along the theme of ‘WTF?’ Here are a few samples:
- “What was he thinking?”
- “His poor wife”
- “This is TMI!”
- “The jokes weren’t even funny”
- “I don’t want to see that?”
- “Is nothing sacred?”
- “He’s going to regret that in the morning”
- “What a total egomaniac – he wanted to make the birth all about him and his fame”
- “What an invasion of privacy for the other patients – how DARE they”
- “Who does she think she is rocking up to a labour ward with her ‘Loubys’ on?!”
A number of you lovely people were tagging me on the story and asking what I thought of this perceived over sharing and I definitely have a view.
But the tricky thing is, this isn’t about Robbie and Ayda’s LOLZ in LA, this is about ALL OF US.
Let’s face it, when it comes to sharing, the rules are ‘there are no rules’. To a lesser or greater degree we’ve all got a bit of Robbie’s behaviour in us and his activity this week shone that right back at all of us and we didn’t like it, did we?
Now before you hang up – don’t! I get that you’re different and you’d never want yourself tagged open legged on a hospital bed.
I also get that because it was someone in the public eye this has isolated Robbie to an extent and put a perceived gap between what’s deemed 'acceptable' behaviour between ‘famous him’ and the rest us ‘regular folks’ (those that were annoyed and aghast to see the pics and videos).
But in my view, Robbie is just joining in be that under the microscope of the media.
His videos, images, tweets and posts of his wife’s labour didn’t surprise me. Not because it’s Robbie Williams and he has a reputation for having a leeeeeddle bit of an ego, but because on my feeds, I have seen my friends, acquaintances, ex-work people and strangers post the same if not more graphic content about what’s going on in their lives and minds.
Check out this smorgasbord that my social media has shared with me over the last 6 months before yesterday’s ‘RobbieGate’:
- After sex selfies on Instagram
- At the alter selfies i.e. literally pre vows
- Many questionable selfies actually but that’s another post…
- Post workout pictures with such skimpy gym gear I’ve seen pubic hair peeping out. (They obviously didn’t see before posting and, to be fair, with a body like that, who gives a damn if it’s hairy? We were born that way, baby.)
- Snapchats of faces during labour contractions – posted by the mother not the ‘ego mad’ partner Robbie’s been labeled as
- The sharing of Pro-Life propaganda which **Just** stops short of encouraging murder of medical professionals
- Posting of “Britain First’ content across Facebook which, FYI people, is racism dressed up in a cuddly looking Union Jack so please be more aware
- Full frontal bath shots of people’s toddlers that I don’t know or perhaps met once (You don’t need to be a Daily Mail reader to know that’s not the best idea.)
And yesterday is was a stranger’s nipple. It was an arty, black and white shot with a beautiful story of discovery and survival behind it, but that areola was up in my face!
I’m sure you can top trumps these BUT Robbie Williams didn’t post any of that in my feed – you guys and the people you know did!
Perhaps not you specifically but someone you're linked to. And I am absolutely cool with all of it because I invited it in when I made the online connection. Content I see often surprises me, and sometimes highly offends me, but as the adage goes ‘don’t judge people that sin differently to you’.
The uncomfortable truth of this is, in general, we don’t give a shit about what we post, as long as we feel ‘seen’.
That might sound crude but, bear with me, it's based on my line of work, where I am seemingly constantly in dialogue about the psychology and cultural influence of social media at societal as well as a personal level. (To the extent I’m the UK’s first and only ‘comparison coach’ – my life coaching business is based on eradicating compare and despair.)
Individually we have 'standards' we think we keep and stick to within the norms of our social group. So when we see others step outside those we think ‘what are THEY doing?’ But at this stage in the game, when it comes to social media, one man’s after sex selfie is another’s political rant.
At this time of writing this blog, I don’t **think** I’m going to share my nipple with my digital community in future but, hey, the woman who posted that pic yesterday may have felt the same 9 months ago!
To sum up, this ‘over sharing’ thing, as totally subjective as it is, isn’t going anywhere and if it is getting in the way of us enjoying social media - which was intended to be just that ‘social’, not voyeuristic or egomaniacal - I suggest an unfollowing binge of your feed’s culprits.
Or, the more philosophical of you might want to consider Gandhi’s take on things which applies to pretty much life in general but certainly this: ‘be the change you want to see in the world’
Ultimately if boobs, birth and burgers annoy us we need to stop posting and liking that stuff. And as I like to do, just ignore it.
Now it’s your turn so head to the comments!
Do you agree? I am I out of line? What’s the most shocking thing you’ve seen in your feed recently? What would be your message to Robbie?
Love Lucy xoxo
Like this kind of thing? Well you couldn’t be in a better place. Check out my previous blogs on over-sharing "Handle your scandal" here and the video blog ‘How to get off Jealousy Island’. And don't forget to subscribe below - I can't guarantee if it goes on social media you'll get it!