Social media is helpful in many ways, but one of the dangers I think is the risk of oversharing. I think finding a balance for sharing is very important.
There are many reasons why oversharing is harmful both to the person sharing and those who read.
- You may be turned down for a loan. Banks and other financial organizations are looking at your social media account to learn about your personality. Why? One of the 3 C’s as we were told is character, and they want to see if not only you are responsible, but your friends are responsible. The theory is that if you have a friend who doesn’t pay a bill, you might be the same and the risk of lending to you in increased.
- There is no forget button. Whatever you share is forever on the Internet. It doesn’t matter if you delete the post, it will surely get archived and copied. You may feel good about something you share at the moment, but the future may have a different perspective on it. If you aren’t sure if you should share something, then don’t.
- Your words will come back to haunt you. I shared something once with the FCC when they sought public opinion on a decision they made. Ten years later when I googled my name it came to the top of the list. It wasn’t something that the FCC said they would share, but once I published it, it was out of my control. You should assume that anything you write on the Internet is public and part of the record forever.
- Your words can be used to harm others. You may write something with the intention of positive results, but as I said before positive intentions aren’t enough. There are tons of positive intentioned and ignorant people on the Internet. I try to write things that are supported by mainstream science, and not on any crazy fringe groups. However too often science discovers something new, and when that happens your advice is no longer accurate. So if you want to stand by your words, you need to constantly evaluate them with the new information that comes out daily and revise them when appropriate. Sadly 99% of people do not update their writing, so most information on the Internet is quickly outdated.
How do I manage these problems with what I write? I review things that I write everyday as part of the work of having this blog. I go through and try to delete articles that are no longer true or things that have a low interest by others. I always encourage the reader to challenge what I say, and the greatest compliment to me would be “I don’t agree with you, but it made me think.”
Everything in life has a balance, including sharing.