Everyone has that one friend who is guilty of oversharing online. There are the proud parents who post at least 10 new photos of their children every day, the student who needs to tell the world about their recent A on an exam, and the travel enthusiast who floods Instagram with filtered photos of beaches and sunrise hikes. I admit that I have fallen into this trap more than once. However, lately I have been asking myself, how much is too much to share? Can social media be too personal?
This video from Confused.com is a short, simple example of the dangers of oversharing. Can you imagine coming back from a relaxing vacation to find that a burglary had occurred in your apartment or home? We have talked a bit in this course about responsible posting and sharing through social media. But what does that responsibility look like? Is it enough to edit privacy settings, and put locks on our various accounts? It seems that in 2016, nothing is truly private when the internet is involved.
Recently, I saw that a family friend had posted a photo of their newborn grandchild. When I went to click on the image, I was redirected to a Twitter account dedicated to the birth of that child. There were updates every few minutes about the birthing process, and photos of the newborn child and his mother.
I think this is certainly a creative way to keep in contact with and include family and friends in important life moments. However, is there a danger to putting this personal information out for the world to see? Studies show that 51% of people between the ages of 18-34 worry that a family member or friend will share information about them that they wish to keep private. I wonder what precedent we are setting for younger and future generations who do not know a world without social media. Personally, I tend to share more than I probably should, but I think the concept of oversharing should be taken seriously. The dangers of sharing too much personal information are just a click away.