Finding a balance for sharing

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 Sadly 99% of people do not update their writing, so most information on the Internet is quickly outdated.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.

Unsolicited advice-Don’t do it

One thing I have learned in life about unsolicited advice-Don’t do it.

I see each day people giving unsolicited advice to others. I think what a waste of time and effort this is. Here is why you shouldn’t give unsolicited advice.

  1. People don’t listen until they are ready to listen. People don’t listen until there is a change in their life. People don’t grow until their current way to live doesn’t work anymore. You can’t help anyone until they want to be helped, otherwise you are just arrogantly wasting your time.
  2. You are not perceived as an expert even if you are. All the time people ask lawyers, doctors for free advice. Then they ignore that advice. People don’t seem to value advice when it is free. When you charge them for it, it seems more trustworthy. There are studies that show that the perception of value depends on your price.
  3. Unsolicited advice-Don't do itYou sound arrogant and usually you have misunderstood the situation. No matter how humble and in good intentions you have, you can’t fully understand the reality of the situation. Life is more nuanced that people understand or believe. Reality resists simple black and white solutions.
  4. The listener isn’t in a space to listen. Even if they are emotionally ready to hear it, they may be tired or not interested to hear it now. So you wait until the right time to hear the message. Some people are never ready to have meaningful conversations and that is sad, but that is ok. Some people will never get past their own ego and be able to be open and listen to others.
  5. Your advice is more because you want to give it, then the listener needs it. I have noticed that many people who give others advice is because they want to say it. They don’t really consider the other persons point of view. So in this sense, they are using the other person as a tool/puppet in their own drama of what they wish the world is. Rather than speak to others, listening shows you care.

You can say anything you want to others, but when you give unsolicited advice you will often find that people will no longer want to listen to you.

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