In today’s digital age of over-sharing online, there’s rarely a permanent delete button for posts. Sometimes we instantly recognize the potential consequences and look to retract our actions. All too often though, the lack of self-awareness leads to careless sharing with consequences that may not surface for months or years.
Regardless of the platform, the lure of being a part of a social network is magnetic for many. We can’t deny the volumes of positive connections it creates to generate awareness on issues, find long lost friends, raise money for causes, or to coordinate an event. But social networks arrived on the scene without a user manual. Some learn too late that the consequences of not thinking before you post can be severe.
Posting without thinking
How can we be better at filtering our thoughts before we decide to share them with the world? Unfortunately, the temptation to click a like or share button is strong enough for some users that it’s often done without a second thought. However, social media would be a much more enjoyable place if we simply stopped to consider “what if…?” before clicking send or post.
Studies show the impacts of over-sharing about yourself (or others) and over-engaging in social media. Impacts range from identity theft to data being sold, and anxiety or depression to cyberbullying.
Some people don’t take into consideration the adverse effects social media could have on individuals. Now that we better understand how social media is affecting our society, we need to ask:
- Are we doing enough to manage our online presence responsibly?
- Are we teaching kids how to learn how to use it sensibly?
- Are we teaching them that what they share online has a shelf life of forever?
- Are we adopting these principles on our social media accounts?