Social Networks and TMI – Are You Sharing Way Too Much?!

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So you have had your morning cup of coffee, probably had a fight with someone you are dating or are facing a horrible time with an evil boss. And about 500 of your closest ‘friends’ now know about it. Sound familiar?! Sharing every little of our lives on social networking platforms has become a global phenomena; but to what effect you have to wonder.

The importance and impact that social media has on our lives cannot be denied and it can be absolutely wonderful. Millions of people from around the world use a social networking platform or two or three to connect to and relate to each other and also keep up to date about each others’ lives. Social media has been used as a marketing tool, a business model and a way to keep users and consumers keyed in and engaged and has also been used as a voice piece for social change and civic revolutions in many parts of the world. However, the overriding usage and favourite activity is definitely keeping in touch and sharing your life with a selected few. Or so it should be…

Sheepishly as we may nod or try to justify, none of us on any social media platform can deny that we have people in our networks who aren’t our friends, family or part of our inner circle in any way really. And yet we continue to divulge extremely personal bits of information that you would never share with a random stranger or even an acquaintance when actually meeting face to face. While it is an amazing platform to share views, anecdotes, funny or heartening stories, snippets of interesting information and more, when does it all become way too much information? People nowadays use social media to not only connect and network but to also mouth personal grievances, boast about seemingly glamorous and hectic lives, back-bite and bitch, complain about work and so much more. While this may be absolutely fine with your closest confidantes, doing so with a network of people you hardly know, plus their ‘friends’ or followers, can sometimes be way too much!

Most people don’t think about other aspects like who else is digging into these nuggets of information that you put out there for all to see. Whatever the privacy settings on your chosen platform, nothing is ever a 100% private. Not only do an increasing amount of people love to snoop, but it also commonplace nowadays for employers or future employers to run a search and not to forget social media companies themselves track your habits to supply to advertising and marketing companies. What is even more disturbing and bizarre is that studies have shown a trend where robberies and thefts are taking place increasingly all thanks to the information you put online. Posting fun pictures from a drunken escapade or proclaiming to the world how you are leaving town for the weekend doesn’t seem all that appealing now does it!

We all love to share, create a buzz or let’s face it even boast about our accomplishments online. If you are beginning to veer into the over-sharing territory, it can backfire big time and often create an online or real reputation and perception about an individual. So how does one err on the right side of social media sharing?

If you find yourself relating to any of these , it may be time to cut back on the info -

1. You go back and forth about and debate posting something (when in doubt, don’t do it)
2. You divulge information that can pose a safety threat to yourself or your family
3. Your relationships get affected by the personal stuff you put out there
4. You post things you wouldn’t want your employer or future employer to see or read
5. You find yourself wanting to post something mainly because it might make others envious or simply to appear ‘cool’
Also do remember, guilt by association bugs many a social media user. Don’t tag or post inappropriate or personal information and pictures about someone else you know, unless you know they are fine with it!

Time to be your real self on

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