TMI: Too Much Information

How much Information is Too Much Information When Meeting New People?

The first time you’re meeting someone, it’s typical to give them general information about yourself. My name is Amanda Drennan, I’m a senior at Monmouth, and I have an undying love for dogs.

But now with social media there’s a lot of information about ourselves that can be found online, and it’s usually easily accessible. If someone takes a look at your social media page, they can see almost anything you’ve posted since you started your page. It’s not only what you post on social media that’s out there, but also what other people post about you. It all lends to to what a person can learn about you without actually ever meeting you. We’ve all been there, looked through someone’s page before we actually get to know them (and don’t act like you’ve never lurked through someone’s page to learn more about them).

It’s easy for us to word vomit information about ourselves to people when we first meet them, especially with so much about ourselves being available online. But what’s too much to tell people? There’s nothing wrong with being open, but some things are just better off kept to yourself. The first time you meet someone it can be overwhelming if they’re just spewing information about him/herself at you.

When you’re first getting to know someone, it’s better to start off with basic information about yourself. This can help you find common interests with the person. If you start off telling them your whole life story from birth to today, don’t be surprised if they’re staring at you like you have two heads.

Sometimes you have to imagine yourself on the other side of the conversation to realize how much is too much for your first conversation. Think about what you want to know about this person, and think about what they would want to know about you.

The best conversations usually start with simple facts about yourself, like the awkward facts you have to tell everyone on your first day of classes. You can learn a lot about someone by just having casual conversation with them. There are a lot of shared interests you can have with someone that you might not realize if you just dive into telling them unnecessary personal information.

I have definitely made some of the best friends of my life just by sharing my basic interests with them. Just finding out that you have similar opinions with someone could lead to a great friendship. Of course, telling your friends your most exciting stories about yourself is fun, but it’s not something you’d necessarily want someone to know right away. It’s good to have friends that you can trust with even your craziest stories, but that’s not usually the best way to begin a friendship or even a first conversation.

Sometimes too much information can be overbearing to people when we first meet them. Even if you feel like you’re being too bland with conversation, it’s better than embarrassing yourself as a first impression.