You can hardly name a person in your social circle who isn’t on social media. They may not be on all social media platforms but might be on Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat alone.
Having an online presence is the need of the hour. It’s not just people, you can’t run a business and not have a social media presence. You could be a marketing staffing agency or a fashion retail business with no physical presence. But you must be present in the digital sphere.
Oversharing is a Problem
While there’s no harm in sharing pictures, videos, updating status and adding check-ins, some people forget they are at the extreme end of the spectrum. They forget that they are oversharing.
We all know someone who gives up too much personal information. And if you don’t, perhaps you could be the oversharing one.
Why Do People Overshare?
Oversharing isn’t cool. But what makes people overshare on social media in the first place? An article shared on Huffington Post says there are 3 reasons why people do what they do:
Out of boredom – They feel bored so they decide to post stuff to fill up their time.
They are egoistic – Such a category of people think the universe revolves around them and it cares what they are doing. Hence, they overshare to let others know what they are up to.
Low self-esteem problem – The individuals who seek validation from others and want attention are also the ones who overshare.
How is Oversharing Harmful?
If you are one of those who believe oversharing is not necessarily a bad thing, check out these reasons:
Anyone/Everyone Can Know Your Location
It is fun to add a location check-in (a hotel you have checked into, holiday destination or restaurant). Do you know you are leaving a trail of the places you have been to?
Do you even release that you are exposing your whereabouts to a stalker? Some people post everything about their commute – when they left home, stopped at Starbucks, went to the office, ate lunch at and so on.
By regularly posting all this information, you are giving a stalker extra information to track you. The consequences can be extreme. Even if your information is only visible to your friends, you are still giving away unnecessary information about yourself.
Puts Your Reputation At Stake
Social media has given us all the freedom to express our beliefs and share our experiences. But posting too much can put your reputation at stake.
Posting photos of parties, writing statuses when you are drunk, and sharing something inappropriate can change the way people see you. Let’s say you have a social media profile loaded with posts, statues, check-ins. If a potential employer tries to run a background check on you and finds such a profile, they might alter their decision.
You would come across as a person who is explicit and who isn’t careful about how and where they express their opinions. Your posts might even portray you to be somebody you are not. This could be a deal-breaker in some situations.
Practical Tips To Stay Safe On Your Social Media
It takes a lot to admit that you are the overshare-er. If you have, that’s great. You can so much do right now to keep your information private and take charge of the habit of sharing everything. Start with these practical tips:
Don’t Add Check-Ins
First things first, I would suggest every person on social media to stop adding check-ins. You are not just giving information about your whereabouts to your followers and strangers but to Facebook itself. Do not forget about the Cambridge Analytica incident.
Minimize Your Bio
Don’t mention everything on your bio. This includes your location and the correct date of birth. A criminal could do so much if they know your name, date of birth and location. So, enter the necessary information only. It’s perfectly fine to enter fake information.
Don’t Post About Your Trips
Never give away information about your upcoming or going vacations. You could be inviting burglars to break into your place.
Think Before You Post
Before just posting anything, stop and ask yourself. Am I posting something I wouldn’t want my family or employer to see? You know what to do next.
Don’t Post Other’s Information
This includes information about your kids or even a stranger that could remotely be considered embarrassing or compromising.
I am speaking from experience. I hired a telecommunications staffing agency to find me a temporary job and they advised me to scan my social media profiles. Oversharing is risky in not just the online world but real life as well. Stay safe and avoid it in all possible ways.