Lately I’ve been all about podcasts. Probably because I’ve listened to every episode of The Breakfast Club that I was interested in and needed a new form of entertainment while I’m working. I love the inspiration it provides! Anyway, I guess I’m behind the curve because podcasts are pretty popular these days. Everyone is doing it! I like the opportunity to hear topics of all kinds by people with different perspectives. It keeps you thinking, your brain working, and you open to different ideas about life outside of your own. That’s a beautiful thing.
Today I was listening to The Friend Zone (https://soundcloud.com/thefriendzonepodcast) and they were talking about over-sharing on social media. Me being the old school person that I can be at times………………more often than not…………………I have never been one to share too much on social media outside of my blog. And even here I am selective in how and what I speak about. Sharing is a great thing when you do it in the proper context because you are allowing people to connect to different aspects of your truth to hopefully grow as people and influence a different way of thinking. I always say you are blessing people’s lives by sharing your story. When you set out for that to be your objective.
I’m in my thirties and when I was younger, social media was not even a factor. We actually had to pick up the phone and call one another or meet up face to face. Back then we had pagers and not cell phones! Lol (man I remember the days of pagers and I don’t plan on telling y’all) But I digress. Either way, there weren’t opportunities to over-share your life that were recorded with the option of being reposted and shared repeatedly by a bunch of strangers who don’t know you. That share-fest continues to follow you even after you no longer want to share it. Of course now we don’t live in that time and the out-pour of information about personal lives that is going on is really outrageous on so many levels to me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not judging, but I’m observing. I don’t understand people’s ability to give so much of themselves to strangers because as we all well know, everyone you are connected to on social media isn’t someone you speak to or even keep in touch with outside of that account. They aren’t your friends.
You typically can see what a person is doing in life from their timelines. If they are somewhere, or with someone or doing something, all day long people are posting the details of their lives. That’s cool if that’s what you like but my real question for EVERYONE is “What is off limits at this point?”. What I feel is over the line (which I created for myself) is when you are posting pictures of yourself in the hospital or at a funeral or posting details about your relationship or exes or whatever is completely too much for the land of social media. At what point do you really feel that people shouldn’t know? Do you just post because it’s an option to do so? Why has the younger generation, and even those not so young, decide that they want to give away their lives with no discretion in what they give away?
I feel I learn so much about people just by what they say and do which may not really be the right way to feel since people's representatives typically show up on social media. They don't realize that after one moment of losing their mind and tweeting or posting, it’s out there even if they turn around and delete it. That leads to my next question, “Why post something you need to delete?”. Why not keep things for yourself? Keep a diary or journal of some sort so you can capture those moments that should be personal to you. Believe me, it’s entertaining to the world……….watching you commit social suicide, but why put yourself through that?
On the show they were discussing a situation where someone attempted to commit suicide and posted a picture saying goodbye. She came back later in a different picture..............alive and well. I’ve heard several stories like it before and it’s sad to me that these things end up on the internet. It almost seems that the over-sharing desensitizes followers to the severity of what some are actually going through. It reduces tragic, stressful, and painful moments that people are going through down to an emoji or a “praying for you” comment if they even respond at all. When you are crying for attention because you are in need, you are reduced to just that moment. Then you wonder how serious you should take someone who does it because you don't know what their motives are. How do we come back from that in the time of the internet?
My cousin made another good point about social media when I spoke to her about this very topic. At times, being more of a private person, you may share something and not share what others consider to be enough. Once you do that, people take that small soundbite and start to make assumptions about what you actually meant. Unfortunately that's how it is. It has made me very reluctant to share some of my blog posts with people on my private social media pages because people are always putting the pieces of your life together even when you aren't providing them the pieces. Yes writers are inspired by their lives but they are also inspired by the lives that are being lived around them. It's like a catch twenty two because you almost can't win for losing with the internet lingering between you and the people watching what they presume is your life. So it's very important to learn what that balance is for you and care less about perception.
Maybe we will never get away from where we are and maybe social media will continue to be the place that people use as their outlet. If it works for you it does. It just doesn’t work for me. The purpose of social media came about to connect and keep in touch with people that you have met along the way. Not to paint yourself or your life as perfect and pretend you aren’t having problems, but to capture the shareable moments. What I would say is that people need to start to learn that every moment in their life doesn’t fit into that category. That is okay! If your struggle helps someone, so be it. I’m an advocate for those forms ofinformation distribution. But if you are just giving the most that you can for likes and favorites, you should immediately deactivate your account until you do a self evaluation that leads to a more mature way of dealing with your life.
Until Next Time Lovies,