Over Sharing on Social Media

I always marvel at the progress we as humans are able to make. From electricity, exploring space and now being able to stay up to date with what’s hip and happening in other people’s lives within a matter of minutes. Social media is the entire buzz and whether you see as friend or foe, it’s the future!

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We can’t fight it and we certainly can’t hide from it no matter how hard you try. So when we embrace it, when is “sharing” on social media becoming an issue? How do you know when the posts you publish, the photo’s you share or messages you reply to, harm or help you? Overshare is the new over kill when it comes to cyberspace.

Studies commissioned by Intel found that 90% of American adults think people share too much on social media. According to the consumer report study 11% of North Americans reveal their full date of birth which adds up to about 20.4 million people

Shockingly 4.8 million people broadcast when they’re leaving the house, 4.7 million people share their current health conditions, 4.6 million share what’s going on in their relationships and about 2.6 million people openly talk about their alcohol usage.

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Why is this dangerous?

A lot of the things we share can be harmful to us, people can find out certain things about your lifestyle; where you live to what passwords you use if you choose to make them public. According to the site: “Who’s watching Charlottesville” people don’t exercise the same amount of caution when it comes to sharing certain things on the web as opposed to sharing something in public – which is all and all the same thing in the end. The site lists the following reasons for the scenario mentioned above:

  • The internet provides a sense of anonymity.
  • The lack of physical interaction provides a false sense of security.
  • People tailor information for their friends to read and then forget that other people might see it.

Sharing things like: “I’m so excited about our new house in Park avenue” to your favourite coffee shop can be over sharing. You make yourself vulnerable to extortion and blackmail, predatory scams, spammers and stalkers and by even sharing your daily schedule, you make burglars’ jobs a breeze. Jealousy is the main driver behind the steering wheel. People have found it incredibly necessary to post every single thing they do, just so that their followers can see “how much fun they’re having”

From Pinterest boards, Instagram pictures, Twitter feeds and LinkedIn profiles to, the oh so favourite, facebook posts and photo’s we share, we tend to easily forget what we post – and about the consequences that follow once we hit that share button.

There was a man falsely posing as an old school mate to group of gullible people. By just monitoring their facebook accounts he stated the he was in the same high school as the victim but that he was a few years behind. From books that he liked to read to movie genres (all of which were visible on the person’s account that he was engaging with at the time).

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He would name a few of his friends (all fake) that would coincidentally be mutual friends of the victim and slowly but surely he would gain their trust by creating a familiarity basis. All in order to scheme them into either going out on a date with him or stealing their money.

Corporate companies also use social media to pick their next CEO (so to speak). Looking at applicants CVs filled with a list of extra charity activities simply isn’t good enough, but a lot can be said about a person through just monitoring their social networking sights.

Who’s watching Charlottesville came up with a comic way of allowing socialites to post their photos and comments. They coined the phrase “grandmother test” If you wouldn’t want her to see it, then don’t share it. Furthermore consumers engaging in social media should exercise caution, tread lightly and protect themselves. You can limit who can see your posts and even block viewers from seeing you pages. Don’t “friend” a friend of a friend and take note of what you put on social media – once you’ve put it out there, there’s no taking it back!

 

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