Like many people these days, I probably spend more time on social media than I should. Facebook especially is the one I have a harder time staying away from. Over time I’ve joined so many animal/pet-related groups. No surprise there I’m sure! Facebook can be a fun place to chat with other like-minded animal lovers, or to kill some time looking at adorable pet photos. I love sharing dog-themed content, including pictures and updates of my two dogs Kitsune and Fenrir, on our Paw Print Pet Blog Facebook page. But, in this social media age, when does sharing things about our pets enter into the territory of oversharing?
I used to be quite active in rabbit rescue, and for many years shared my life with house rabbits in addition to my current dogs. After my last house bunny, Barnaby, passed away in 2017 I decided to take a break from keeping rabbits. But still, I stayed in a handful of rabbit-themed FB groups. It made for quite an interesting FB feed, being deeply involved with both a predator species (dogs) and prey (rabbits). I joined a number of raw feeding groups for my dogs. It became strangely commonplace to scroll down my FB feed and see pictures of adorable pet rabbits nestled in between posts about people discussing feeding rabbits to their dogs.
Just the other day I came across someone posting an image of their deceased dog. A bit unorthodox, perhaps, but I’d say the particular image posted wasn’t horrible. Some people seemed to view the post as a heartfelt memorial. Others argued that posting images of a pet’s body is disrespectful and wrong.
When it comes to our pets, how much sharing is too much?
Is there a line? Are there things about your own pet that you would feel uncomfortable sharing on social media? Or that you would disapprove of if you saw being shared by someone else? Surely our pets don’t care one way or the other.
I feel like I’ve seen everything from one end of the spectrum to the other, with no apparent general consensus about whether or not some pet related things are inappropriate to post online. I know someone who won’t post pictures of her dogs online without using Photoshop to censor their ‘private’ parts. But I’ve seen my fair share of doggy ‘junk’ posted on social media too.
This issue comes up quite often in regards to online animal activism.
When you’re trying to raise awareness about abused animals, etc., exactly how far can you go before you’re accused of taking things too far? I guess the answer really would depend on who you ask. I’m usually all for presenting people with reality, but on the other hand I can also understand not wanting to be continuously bombarded by images of neglected and abused animals.
I don’t know if there really are any answers here, other than to say that it’s probably safe to assume that no matter what, someone on the internet is going to be offended. It’s an interesting question to ponder nonetheless, especially these days with so many people taking to social media. As for me, I’ll continue to use my best judgement when it comes to what I share about my dogs. I respect my animals, but also strive to be honest and real about what sharing my life with them is like. What do you think? Where is your line when it comes to what you share, and what you feel is oversharing, when it comes to pets?