Monday, March 8, 2010

TMI

TMI, or too much information, is something that I often think many people suffer from. Things that would have been considered private a few decades ago are shared with anyone and everyone. While sometimes it might be nice to know that other people have experienced things similar to you, there are times when it is truly tmi. I don't need to know the intimate details of someone's childbirth experience or their problem with yeast infections (both of these things have been described to me in minute detail by people I am friendly with, but not friends with). It is just TMI.

Becca is sixteen in Sarah Quigley's novel, TMI, and she suffers from offering up too much information. She finds it hard not to share everything she knows with anyone. At first her sharing seems harmless (although I did find it rather annoying), but Becca does realize that she doesn't have many friends and she knows that perhaps this is a result of her oversharing. When high school classmates start teasing her about some of her revelations, Becca decides to turn over a new leaf and keep her mouth shut. Becca does a good job of not giving too much information - amazing since her friend, Jai, has confessed he is gay and she is the only one who knows. Since Becca needs some outlet for her sharing, she begins a blog aptly named Too Much Information. Becca, like many people, believes that her blog is anonymous because she is never revealing her true identity and is stunned when someone at school makes a reference to something she only wrote about on her blog. Now Becca has a lot to answer for and feels horrible for the hurt and embarrassment she has heaped on herself, her friends, and family.

Luckily Becca is a likeable character because sometimes I felt that she was quite irritating. The message of the book is also a good one - as I teach groups of elementary children about internet use it is obvious they have given only a little thought to their privacy on the world wide web. Because Becca's friends are so mature and forgiving and her family so supportive Becca is able to carry on with her head held high, having matured from her experience.
At first I thought this book was going to be just fluff, but despite Becca's problem with oversharing, she is a good character with a bit more depth than I first thought to be the case. And as members of the information age, a book about sharing information on the internet is relevant to our lives today.

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