Some people breathe a sigh of relief when it comes to being old enough to remember a time when the Internet did not yet exist. Being young and naïve — and sharing too much information — still kept embarrassment to a minimum, sans Internet. At most, complications stayed at a local level. By the time you returned years later for that high school reunion, everything was forgotten, or at least well-framed in the boundaries of good-natured nostalgia.
But now, people have taken oversharing to a whole new level. Unfortunately, the Internet is like a personal diary for many users. If you suspect you’re offering TMI, keep in mind these important reasons to avoid sharing too much on social media sites.
Every Search Tells A Story
The more active you are on the Internet, the more likely you are to be found. Although people say and share things they have long since forgotten, these tidbits remain in cyberspace, readily available for anyone to see and share. Think it doesn’t matter? Ask someone who lost a hot job lead because of an unfortunate posted photo from five years ago.
Contrary to what you may have believed in the past, everything about you on the Internet comes together to form a picture of your personality. Even if you feel this picture isn't true to who you are, the more outrageous and scandalous the digital tidbits are, the greater the possibility of future unwanted embarrassment.
A Digital Time Capsule You Didn't Plan On
Although the phrase “you only live once” is true, the lack of implied consequences is misleading. One minute you're posting about getting 1996 Mustang parts and the next you've decided it's funny to post a photo of you mooning your entire timeline. No one ever said you couldn't be fun and daring with your friends, but there is simply no determining the short- and long-term effects of oversharing opinions or private pictures on social media.
Think about the things you share and how you share them, and what they say about you as a person. Is this something that you would be proud of ten, twenty or thirty years from now? If not, it's better to keep it to yourself.
Ways To Avoid the Consequences of Oversharing
First of all, take a minute to pause and think before you post something. Much of oversharing is done in a “spur of the moment” situation. If you're more conscious about what you say and do online, you can avoid having too much information about you broadcast on the web altogether.
If you’re still tempted, consider using an alias on various social media sites instead of your real name. It's also good to remember that online information is “out there” forever, in one form or another. As a result, stay mindful of just what sort of information you choose to share about yourself with the world.