The Dangers of Over Sharing on Social Media

Life & Love | Gerren Keith Gaynor | 12/05/2013 | 12:00 PM EST

How the click of a button can have real-life consequences

Nearly everyone in the world is an active participant on social media. Whether it be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Myspace, more and more Americans are turning to these internet platforms to stay connected with friends, family and even co-workers, both near and far.

Social media allows you to keep in touch with people in a way that’s never been done before, not to mention you’re able to share your thoughts and opinions at free will, all at the click of a button. Some people, however, take sharing to new and maddening levels. We’ve all seen it before; the oversharers who post about their relationship drama, frustrations with their boss or who are constantly posting that ever-annoying “selfie” picture as if they looked any different from the day before.

While what you share and how you share it is one’s prerogative, there can be rather real-life consequences to overdoing it with your social media sharing. Although social media in theory is not “real life,” your profile page is a representation of who you are, if not an extension of you, and can critically shape what people think of you and how they perceive you, whether they have a real-life relationship with you or not. Excessive or overindulging posts can sometimes leave a bad taste in one’s mouth, figuratively speaking. Appearing too impulsive or peevish can even cause one to “unfriend” you, and we all know the drama that comes along with that. Social media has the potential to ruin real-life friendships and family bonds.

But sharing too much on social media can do a whole lot more damage than just your personal relationships - it can also cost you your job. More recently, some companies have chosen to penalize or even terminate employees for things that they have shared on social media. Whether your page is personal or not, when you attach your name and face to an online profile, it’s just as much you as in real life.

Facebook and other platforms are great for expressing yourself, but some things are better left for your personal diary. While it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that the entire social media world revolves around you, unfortunately it doesn’t. People don’t want to hear you complain about life, nor do they want to know how many compliments you get while walking down the street. There are no guidelines for how to share, just share wisely.

So the next time you decide to click that share button, use with discretion.

(Photo: Jamie Grill/Getty Images)

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