We, as humans, are social. We love to connect and share our lives with our family, friends, classmates and co-workers among many others. And we’ve carried that way of thinking onto the internet, where we share even more with our hundreds (if not thousands) of connections. But sometimes, we get caught up in sharing that we forget that we can overexpose ourselves and made vulnerable to the dozens of online threats.
So what makes us overshare?
Experts believe that we overshare because we are trying to overcompensate for our own subconscious anxieties. We feel the impulse to look smart, sophisticated and well-versed among our groups in order to feel more accepted. And that problem gets amplified as we take our thoughts and feelings to internet waves.
Meanwhile, when we share in the real-world, we usually alter what we say in accordance to the situation. Many of us can tell whether a person is frazzled, tired, uneasy, or any of the dozens of other feelings we can infer from someone’s body language and facial cues. This is what experts call “self regulation.” But unfortunately, we have trouble self-regulating what we say online because we don’t see a face staring back at us.
So how can we try and self-regulate ourselves from oversharing on Social Media?
1. Always think before you blog/post: If you have to think twice about whether the content your sharing is worthwhile, chances are it probably isn’t. Many of the things we share are private or personal and that can get us into trouble. So stop posting about your marriage, your bathroom habits or when you’re going out of town.
2. Turn on those privacy settings: Social media sites are inclined to have privacy settings in order to protect their customers. So use them. If you still don’t think sites like Facebook and Twitter are taking your privacy into account, you can browse through five new social media networks to keep you and your family safe.
3. Don’t badmouth people: It’s best not to hold grudges in general, but to badmouth someone online is a good way to land in hot water. Especially if the person on the other side of it is one of your close friends, family members or even employees. We’ve seen plenty of firings from Facebook rants that could’ve been avoided.
4. Decrease your political banter: Politics is usually a touchy subject with people. In which case it’s best to lay on the side of caution when proclaiming your political mindset to the masses. We wouldn’t want you to infuriate your close friends, family or even potential business partners when you can leave the political banter to the courtroom, or to your voter registration.
5. Stop talking about you, you, you: We understand that you are the center of your world. But to the rest of us, you’re probably our 25th favorite person (I’m just ballparking). So it’s best to stop chronicling your every movement and maybe talk someone else up a bit. In fact, make that a habit of yours from now on.
Who of us is learning not to overshare?
It might be unexpected, but its our children that are learning from our mistakes. According to the Pew Research Center, a study revealed that younger generations are posting less personal information about themselves on their social media networks than ever before. The study accounts for this change because young people are enabling their privacy settings and using other preventative measures due to more awareness around them when it comes to oversharing on Social media (ex. such as parental guidance).
With Facebook and other social networks becoming the norm, we’ve grown accustomed to sharing our lives online on a daily basis. But we sometimes forget that many of the things we share are too personal and can land us in hot water and make us vulnerable to online predators. But if we stick to the rules above, we can catch up to these younger generations and avoid the depths of oversharing on Social media.
Hope you have learnt why you shouldn’t engage in oversharing on Social media? If you have any contribution or questions please use the comment form below. Remember to subscribe to my RSS feed.