Are We Oversharing? Join the Discussion at Changing Hands Phoenix

No matter the medium, your social media feeds are more than likely choked with political rants, someone else’s dinner, a wine glass on the edge of a bathtub, and about a thousand photos of a cat, dog, or baby of unknown provenance.

But are we oversharing our personal lives, just documenting our memories, or actually embarrassing ourselves? A discussion panel positing that same question is happening on Friday, July 22. The "Are We Oversharing?" panel will be held at Changing Hands Phoenix, 300 West Camelback Road, at 7 p.m. The free event will feature five well-known Phoenix area storytellers and commentators.

The talk will bring together Phoenix's NPR-affiliate KJZZ commentators, New Times contributors, authors, and storytellers involved with storytelling events in the Valley. Megan Finnerty – Storytellers brand studio director, The Storytellers Project founder and director, and former Republic reporter – will moderate the discussion.

Among the panelists will be Liz Warren, director of the South Mountain Community College Storytelling Institute, author of The Oral Tradition Today: An Introduction to the Art of Storytelling textbook, and storytelling coach for the Republic’s monthly Arizona Storytellers series. She's a storyteller, but her background is in anthropology.

Her thoughts on online sharing? “My first instinct as an anthropologist is, ‘How does this work for us?’” she says. “Clearly, it’s serving some function for us as a society.” Warren says she learns from the people she follows, especially her younger friends, because they share media, articles, and events, but she is conscious of staying out of the “bubble” social media users can create around themselves from only following people with like interests. “I think that the whole thing is in service to society,” she says. “If it didn’t function, we wouldn’t do it.”

Members of The Storyline Collective will also be present. Rachel Egboro is a local storyteller and co-host of the open-mic series Yarnball, held each Wednesday at Lawn Gnome Publishing. Also featured is Dan Hoen Hull, founder and producer of The Storyline, and producer of Yarnball and Then It Got Weird – another Phoenix storytelling series. He’s also a teacher, writer, and Zen monk who’s sold out his solo performance, Bad Buddhist.

Also at the head table will be New Times' managing editor Amy Silverman and contributor Robrt Pela. Silverman is a frequent KJZZ commentator – and has appeared in The New York Times and on the WBEZ show, This American Life. She co-curates the monthly storytelling series Bar Flies live at Valley Bar, and recently released My Heart Can’t Even Believe It, a memoir about raising her daughter Sophie, who has Down syndrome.

In a recent cover story titled Living Where Everything Is Forgotten: A Mother and Son's Struggle Toward a "Dementia-Friendly America," Pela recaps the emotional, financial, and sometimes hilarious struggles of caregiving for his own mother. Pela is also an essayist for KJZZ's Morning Edition, and present arts exhibits through R. Pela Contemporary Art.

For more information, call 602-274-0067 or visit the Changing Hands website.
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Lauren Cusimano was the Phoenix New Times food editor from 2018 to 2021. Joys include eating wings, riding bikes, knowing everyone at the bar, talking too much about The Simpsons, and falling asleep while reading.