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Why Over Sharing Might Be Hurting You

The Downside to Sharing
By Sharon Housley

We all know someone who divulges a little too much information on the Internet. Whether it's the friend who Instagrams every meal or the relative who constantly posts updates on how Fido's doing, this phenomenon seems well on its way to pervading all the social media we use. Maybe you have even caught yourself posting a bit too much. While something that everyone seems to be doing may appear harmless enough, oversharing can have some negative consequences of which all social media users should take note.

Given how common over sharing is, it can sometimes be hard to see that anything could be wrong with it. However, over sharing can be a poor social decision; the frequency of posts in which over sharing results can lead to an overbearing social media presence. Additionally, the irrelevant, often trivial nature of many of the posts oversharers make may become irritating to other social media users, giving those who over share an even more unfavorable online presence.

The potential negative consequences of over sharing extend beyond basic social concerns. Your online presence is often subject to the judgment not only of those you know, but of potential employers. Over sharing in general may provide an appearance of ineptitude and awkwardness that can leave an undesirable impression with potential employers. This phenomenon also presents other problems in the area of employment; those who do not filter their social media posts may have unprofessional or otherwise inappropriate content on their accounts that could harm their job prospects should potential employers see it.

Constant posting also holds the potential to place your security at risk. Over sharing tends to publicize where you are when you go out, which can be problematic and potentially dangerous for people in a variety of situations, especially while the incidence of stalking remains unnervingly high. In addition to posting your locations, over sharing in general can also publicize enough information for others to determine patterns about your behavior and activities, another issue that could facilitate stalking. Additionally, making your whereabouts on social media lets others know when you are not at home, which can increase your risk of being targeted for a home break-in and robbery.

Oversharing is not restricted to Tweets and status updates; it can also manifest itself in your social media profiles. While making your email address visible is unlikely to bring you any harm, making yourself too accessible by posting private contact information such as your address or home phone number hold the potential to put you in danger at the hands of people like stalkers.

Though over sharing carries a number of risks, it can't quite be branded a dangerous activity. However, the potential problems that accompany it are worth considering as you use social media. Though the decision on what to share online is ultimately yours, it's better to be safe than sorry.

About the Author:
Sharon Housley manages marketing for NotePage, Inc. , FeedForAll software for creating, editing, publishing RSS feeds and podcasts. In addition Sharon manages marketing for RecordForAll audio recording and editing software.


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