Social media has empowered people to share details about their lives to friends and acquaintances (and sometimes strangers). It’s remarkable how people who have never met face to face could know intimate details about their lives.
We have so many tools and options at our disposal when it comes to sharing content: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Vine, and plenty more sites provide us with a platform to share what’s on our minds. But when does sharing become excessive? How can we identify the precise point when we have to tell someone to cap his well of details and information before it all overflows and spills over?
If we were more like sieves, we’d know how to filter what we disseminate and we’d know inherently what’s appropriate. Since we’re not sieves, we will still think sharing intimate details or answering questions that were never asked is the way to go.
To me, a person spilling all these dark secrets about himself or herself is just opening the door to vulnerability. You wouldn’t tell your future boss in an interview what you do to yourself when you’re depressed but you’re willing to tell someone you barely know online? Of course, that makes SO much sense.
Also, how are we more secure with online strangers than we are with friends face-to-face? How did we become such open books online? You wouldn’t think of ever telling your parents where you are every five minutes but tweeting to strangers where you are (with hashtags, of course) is second nature. How do we have this sense of security with strangers (who later become acquaintances) we encounter on social media?
Is it because they’re barely strangers? Is it because you feel that the inherent distance between you and them (distance in friendship or distance in actual measurable imperial or metric units) means they are less likely to be biased and more likely to be neutral?
In terms of over-sharing, I’ve been guilty of this and I’m sure some of you have been as well. I look back on it all and feel like I had made a huge mistake. I really wasn’t getting anything from it and decided to put a stop to this. I stopped once I took on the mindset that I should be an open book on social media (like before) but with “a few glued pages.” I will still be an open book per sé but you’re no longer going to find out everything. It’s akin to opening a book but you realize that some of the pages are…glued together. Very clever, I know.
I keep to myself because I know some of you don’t care to know certain things about me. You have no business to know and I have no business making you know. Too bad other people don’t know about this so we’ll continue to see Instagram pictures of poop in a toilet from someone celebrating her ugly child (whose face you’ve seen too much of) successfully being potty-trained or pictures of “selfies” with dying relatives. After all, there is no better way to mourn someone than by posing awkwardly next to him or her and then taking a poorly composed picture of yourself with that person. The photo may be blurry and the subjects may not be fully visible in the shot but damn it, it will be such a emotionally powerful photo that will make everyone mourn with a moment of silence!
But you all will “Like” that sort of thing, right?