To Post or Not To Post
April 10, 2012
Everyone knows one of those people. They post entirely too much personal information on facebook; they tweet about every minute detail of their lives; they rant extensively on tumblr; they take pictures of themselves half naked to upload to instagram. You never have to wonder what these people are thinking or feeling. Maybe you are one of those people. You like letting the whole world know exactly what is going on in yours. Where do you draw the line, though? When does “good to know” become “too much information?”
The following are examples of posted information that is simply TOO PERSONAL to be displayed publicly on the internet.
Exhibit 1: tumblr
“Tell me mom, how am I supposed to be nice to you when you are not nice to me at all? You treat me like I don’t matter as a person, the way you think this is the army or something, the way you act like I bother you all the time. I know I should just ignore this but I CAN’T.”
As tragic as this situation seems to be, this kind of emotional release is better saved for discussion with a therapist, close friend, or relative.
Exhibit 2: facebook
“I eat gummy bears by tearing them limb from limb and eating their heads last.”
In other words, “Hi, my name is deranged and I’m a future serial killer.” On top of that, who really cares how you eat gummy bears?
Exhibit 3: instagram
(Picture deleted for salacious content)
1. Who told you this was appropriate for everyone to see?
2. Why is her hand strategically placed in that area?
3. Those probably aren’t even real.
Not only is too much personal information not necessary, it also may be unsafe. Senior Riddhi Patel says, “Personally, I don’t like people knowing EVERYTHING about me so I don’t post or discuss personal matters… accepting everyone on the network and letting people know everything about you is dangerous, so I try to stay away from all of that, as that becomes kind of creepy.”
She brings up a valid point—if everyone you want to see it can see it, then everyone else probably can, too.
Junior Adam Parler agrees. He says, “When people start putting more personal things, like e-mail address, phone number, street address and even their credit card number, that’s when it gets to be too much. Basic information you wouldn’t mind giving to a total stranger is fine, but beyond that basic information, it isn’t a smart move.” The voice of reason says it all.
Ultimately, it is up to you to decide how much you want total strangers to know about you. If you want to post everything about yourself online, then that is your decision. Just remember, there are always consequences and you may be hiding behind the crutch of social networking. Senior Clara Formby articulates this idea: “I think it’s dumb that people choose to live their lives vicariously through social media rather than fostering good, tangible friendships.” If you try talking to someone, instead of just typing or posting about something, you may find the social situation to be far more rewarding than you had ever expected.