Social media seems to take up quite a lot of space in our lives. Not only are we scrolling through our timelines and seeing what everyone else is sharing, we are also sharing and creating an online image of ourselves. It is easy to get consumed by this culture of sharing so it is important to always evaluate what we are sharing. Here are 5 questions you should ask yourself before you post:
IS THIS TMI?
Our online spaces are filled with personal information about ourselves but it is important to know that we control the amount of personal information we are sharing.
You may want to share what you ate for breakfast this morning or what you are wearing today or how much you love your significant other, that’s fine. However, there are moments you should ask yourself, “could people do me harm if they see this?”
Oversharing can expose small details of your life like your home address, ID number and cellphone may put you at risk. In extreme cases, your identity can be easily duplicated because of all the personal information you have shared.
Protect yourself by carefully deciding what you share. Your “friends” and “followers” do not need to know everything.
What’s the worst thing that could happen if I shared this?
The personal convictions and opinions you share online can create a community or include you in spaces that are comforting. But beware, there are moments when your emotions take control of how you share your personal thoughts and views. It is not a good idea to share things when you’re feeling really emotional – whether you’re angry, sad, or excited. Take a few deep breath, perhaps give it a day or so first and then decide if it’s really a good idea.
It is not just the internet. Someone like Penny Sparrow is just one example of how there are real-life repercussions if you post something offensive online.
Would I be upset if someone shared it with others?
If you’re sharing things about you – whether it’s a picture,
video or personal things like your phone number – remember that it
could easily end up being seen by people you didn’t want it sent to..
The best way to test if you should post something is to ask yourself if you would be upset if someone shared this post with people close to you like parents, your mother or even people at the school you attend.
Why am I posting this?
“Likes” do amazing things for our confidence. It is nice to know that your online community approves of what you are sharing. It is important to not be consumed by this social acceptance to the point that our personal self-worth is being negatively affected because we only got 3 likes on our latest selfie.
Make sure you are not compromising who you are and your personal boundaries for “likes”.