There are two social media trends that started with social media itself. And yes, I’m talking about naked pictures and break-ups, but truly it’s more than that it is the essence of what makes those things happen:
Oversharing and Over-engaging
Let’s remember that most social media apps and platforms started for teens to share their lives with friends and get to know new people. Obviously that means they tended to share random things that ranged from going to the mall and what they ate to how they felt. Digital devices, also allowed us to record everything an anything we can think of. Thus, the naked picture phenomenon. How many times have you read in the news that someone got into trouble because they had intimate pictures or videos of themselves out in the internet for everyone to see? Not to mention the amount of times we’ve all read family feuds or lovers quarrels that really shouldn’t have been out in the open for all of us to read. Right?
Now let’s talk about over-engaging:
We’ve all seen it. There is that one person who comments on everything everyone posts. They may even be off-topic or repeat something someone else just said. There’s nothing to add, but they will never stay away from commenting. Not everything that someone else shares (especially in groups) needs everyone opinion. There seems to be something about social media, that really does trigger our wanting to be seen. We want people to know what we think, and why we think so; particularly if it’s not about ourselves.
So how do we stop this? Well… I’m an economist, and we tend to use these phrase and its acronym when we deal with economic choices: Is It Worth It?
Is It Worth It – to stop Oversharing:
Is what I’m going to post, record, or photograph worth it? What purpose does it serve? If it’s something important just for another person or couple of people and me, shouldn’t I just send it as a direct message? Am I invading someone’s privacy? Am I invading my child’s or office’s privacy?
Is it Worth It- to stop Over-engaging:
Is what I’m going to say worth it? Am I giving a different point of view? Adding to the conversation? Can I just add on to what someone else said? Can I just like what someone else commented? Particularly in discussion groups or Facebook/WhatsApp/Instagram groups, we do not need to say Yes or give an opinion every time someone shares something. Sometimes it’s ok to not say anything, unless being asked to do so.
Why are we making a big deal out of this?
Well… Oversharing can get dangerous. You may destroy your relationship and the relationship of others with people you know. Or you can actually get yourself and others in a vulnerable situation because you’ve shared too many personal and intimate moments or details in your social media. It’s all wonderful when things are blooming, especially in romantic relationships. But if you’re done with a relationship, you might regret some of what you made so public.
And over-engaging never hurt anyone right? Well… So far we have never seen it be anything other than annoying. So it might just hurt your relationship to people, and lead them to block you or unfollow you. So it’s just socially dangerous.
If this article reminded you of someone, it might be worth sharing it with them. They might not even be aware they’ve been doing it all along.