Twitter Employee Live-Tweets Labor, Birth

How much is too much when it comes to over-sharing?

April 07, 2014, 1:52 PM

April 7, 2014— -- A picture is worth a thousand words –- or maybe just 140 characters.

Twitter employee and new mom Claire Diaz-Ortiz shared a snap of her newborn girl on Twitter over the weekend, after live-tweeting her contractions, labor pains –- and ultimately, the birth.

Diaz-Ortiz, from Buenos Aires, Argentina, isn’t the first to turn to social media for a no-holds-barred account from the OB/GYN. In January, California mom Ruth Fowler live-tweeted her at-home, natural delivery, posting naked photos and intimate details about the painful, 12-hour process.

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Political reporter Tommy Christopher of live-tweeted his heart attack in 2010, sending updates from the ambulance. Last fall, a Brooklyn comedian overheard a couple breaking up on a neighboring rooftop, and posted verbatim, minute-by-minute updates of their fight. Journalists covering the Winter Olympics in Sochi live-tweeted their disgusting hotel experiences, snapping shots of yellow drinking water and stray dogs roaming hallways.

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But all this play-by-play has many users asking, "What's next?"

Social media expert Peter Shankman doesn't think the over-sharing will stop anytime soon. The New York-based investor and entrepreneur said balance is the key to Twitter and other social networks.

“You want to be aware of what you’re posting and when you reach that critical point of over-sharing,” Shankman said. “There comes a point when you just want to be in the moment. And live-tweeting the birth of your child as you’re giving it kind of takes you out of the moment.”

Shankman said over-sharing Twitter users should keep their followers in mind.

“We are moving toward a society that’s public with everything,” he said. “But I still think there should be some boundaries. You have to balance what you share with what your audience wants to see.”

Still, many live-tweet sessions are all about the greater good.

Houston’s Memorial Hermann hospital has live-tweeted entire brain and open-heart surgeries for educational purposes. Last month, a man live-tweeted his colonoscopy to raise awareness of colon cancer prevention.

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