Are We Sharing Too Much On Social Media? | Emily Bashforth

Are We Sharing Too Much On Social Media?


I was thinking about the world we live in today, something I like to do often. You know, just mulling over how times have changed and the way people now act in this new age of technology. My mind wandered to the topic of social media and it raised a question within me - why do some people feel the need to post everything online?
Now, don't get me wrong, I am an avid social media user, as avid as they come, however, I make it my mission not to share absolutely everything about my life. Well, to be honest, it was never a conscious decision that I made, I just always knew in the back of my mind that I didn't want to. I have never felt the need to post about absolutely everything about my life online and now, I don't even have to think about the things I post. I know what I like Tweeting and Instagramming about and over sharing my ups and downs with strangers just isn't me. I'm quite the closed off introvert anyway but I have just never wanted to tell the world my life story, I don't know why exactly, I just never did. However, I think there is no denying that, in today's age, as technology and social media becomes more influential and 'essential' in our every day lives, that some people really do post pretty much everything on the internet.

There is nothing wrong with that at all, I mean, if you want to share your problems and good times with anyone and everyone, by all means go for it but why do some feel the need to do so? Also, is it really necessary? Is social media taking over just a little too much?
The social sites I use most frequently would be Twitter and Instagram, as well as YouTube. As I scroll through my Timelines, I see people posting about an array of things, but I see many Tweets which are of people complaining about problems in their lives, talking about what they've done in the day, just basically telling their followers everything so they end up feeling as though they live their lives with that person. It is good to have close connections with people online, I have made many friends myself via social media, however, most of the people we interact with will probably never speak to us face to face, that is just a fact, so would it not be nice to keep them as online friends? To keep them as people we talk about specific things with online and not share every single detail of our lives with them? They aren't your real life family members or friends, so why should we make them feel like they are? Sure, it's good to form bonds and feel like you have someone to confide in who won't judge you, that's something I love about the internet, but you honestly do not have to tell everyone everything. I am a firm believer in this when it comes to "real life" as well. I rarely tell anyone anything, if I'm honest. Like I say, I'm an introvert, I'm quiet, but, as any other quiet people out there may understand, I have mastered the art of telling people very little, yet making them feel like they know a lot.

When it comes to Instagram, every single day I must scroll through hundreds of personal photos. I follow a lot of people with large followings on Instagram and many celebrities (the celebrities being the ones who rarely share anything personal) but I also follow some "normal people." I follow many bloggers and vloggers too, but I find them to be just as guilty as "oversharing" (if you that is such a thing online these days) as the perhaps the College students and other people in the real world. Some people I follow on Instagram honestly document their whole life on there. Don't get me wrong, I love Instagram and I think it is a rather magical platform. I think it is great to have a place where you can share photos with people and look through their's to see what they're getting up to. You can also use it like a little online photo album and look back in a few years at everything you got up to, but is there a need for us to be so obsessed with Instagram? Do we really need to post a selfie every time we leave the house or post photos with our friends every time we go to a party? Aren't the best times sometimes the ones which don't end up online?

I have never been a Facebook user but I am pretty sure Facebook is the place to go if you want examples of oversharing. Having been with friends when they are scrolling through their feeds or just from hearing gossip in public, I understand that, although Facebook could perhaps be becomming less popular as time goes on, people still use it like an online diary. I mean, if there's drama between a friendship group these days, during an argument you can guarentee that someone will say something along the lines of "Well, she posted this on Facebook..." or "Did you see what she wrote on my wall the other day?" Whether they want to moan about the weather, celebrate their engagement or rant about a family breakdown, Facebook is often the place people go.

Moving onto Snapchat and YouTube, as they're pretty similiar in this sense. Snapchat is great for communicating with others, making new friends, making people laugh by taking selfies with funny filters and maybe sharing a little bit of your day. But do some people take it too far? Some of the Snapchat users I follow seem to never be off the thing. It is great to feel like you've followed them around for the day, but it leaves me wondering, do they ever experience the day through their own eyes, or just through the camera on their smartphone? I'm sure many of you will know people who won't allow you to do anything without them saying "OMG LET ME SNAPCHAT THIS!" YouTube is fab for this too. I spend a lot of time on there, it's a great way to relax and there is always something to watch if you're bored, but it's now saturated with daily vloggers who undeniably provide entertainment and we all keep going back each day to see what they're up to, but when and how did this whole vlogging malarkey even come about? I totally understand that daily vloggers do not share every aspect of their lives, especially those with large followings, as they do want to keep their lives somewhat normal, but it does often feel, when I'm watching them, that they spend more time filming their day than actually just living and enjoying it. Can that not ruin relationships too? Whenever I see a bunch of daily vloggers hanging out in a video, they all have to film everything. For example, if someone is blowing out the candles on their birthday cake, every single daily vlogger in that room will have their camera out to film it so they can all post the exact same thing on all of their channels because it's like, if it wasn't filmed, it didn't happen.

So, I guess what I am getting at is, social media is great. I wouldn't be without it. I love the way it connects me with people on the other side of the globe who share common interests. I love how it allows me to follow the celebrities I admire and get a glimpse into their lives. I love how it allows me to express myself through words and pictures and be creative. There are pros and cons with everything, however, I reckon, for the most part, social media is pretty positive and people even rely on it for their career. But, as a society, are we becoming too comfortable with sharing things with people who we forget we actually don't know? Are we using it as a diary instead of communicating through speech with those close to us in real life? Are we almost becoming obsessed with the fact that we have the freedom to post photos of whatever we like online?
I don't know if this is just me, but it tires me and really makes me sad how some people share every tiny detail of their personal lives online. Everyone's situations are different and people share things for different reasons. If you're feeling down you may not feel like you're able to talk to a parent, for example, and I am never one to judge but, speaking generally, I hate how, in the world we live in now, some people want everyone and their dog to know all of their problems and all of their achievements.
Do you not think it is nice to keep some things offline? I'm not saying come off social media altogether. If you go on holiday, it's an exciting time and, of course, you'll want to share your snaps. If you've had an argument with someone and are in desparate need of advice, sometimes the best place to find it could be on Twitter. But, if you post everything on social media, does it not make life in the "real world" a lot less exciting? If you meet somebody for the first time, would you not much rather them get to know you through conversation, instead of them knowing exactly who you are before you've even met? When you meet someone for the first time, instead of them saying "Oh how was your sisters' wedding? I saw the photos on Facebook!" would you not prefer to bring that subject up yourself? Would that not give you more to talk about? Not everything has to be Tweeted, not every family gathering has to be posted on Instagram, not every party has to be Snapchatted. Sure, tell people what you had for your lunch or one thing you did that day, but do you not get tired of knowing everything about everyone's life these days? Then, there is no room for conversation when you meet them!!
There are a lot of other ways in which you can use your social platforms rather than as a place to just empty your mind at the end of each day. Post about your favourite films at the moment, TV shows, albums, your opinions on politics, Tweet your favourite celebrities, post a quote, song lyrics, throwback photos, events you're looking forward to...it is very easy to stay active on social media without actually saying a lot about yourself, which is something I find very simple to do and do often. I find I rarely Tweet about my personal life or even post personal photos on Instagram. Most of my family don't want their photos on there anyway, but I see it more as a place to be creative and maybe post the odd selfie, I post quotes, repost arty snaps from photographers, take photos of nature and food I think looks pretty. I love social media and how it enables me to create, almost, a whole other world for myself, but I have just never been one to overshare. If you have problems, would it not be a whole lot easier to talk to a relative about them, rather than Tweeting about them and then having someone reply telling you "You should really tell your parents about this." I understand that social media is a place to escape to for many people, I feel that way too, but I would always encourage anyone to keep most of your life to yourself. It honestly makes everything just a lil' bit more spicy, more fun. Keep some things for the real world because, honestly, there is more to life than social media and the people you are interacting with all have their own lives. Why don't we just go out and live, rather than Tweeting, Instagramming, Snapchatting, Facebooking and Vlogging our every move? Does it all need to be documented?

Life is more exciting when not everyone knows everything. The unknown in your life is the most magical part, allow people to explore it for themselves and give them the chance to be fascinated.


Everyone has a chapter they don't read out loud, but how long is yours?

Let me know your thoughts on this! <3


Love, Emily :) xx

2 comments:

  1. This was such a good post to read Emily! You're such a talented writer and I thoroughly enjoy reading your posts. I agree that life is far more exciting when not everybody know everything.

    Lots of love from Mollie Quirk xxxx - www.theperksofmolliequirk.blogspot.com

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    1. Ahh Mollie your comment has just made my week! Thank you so so much, lovely!! I think you are such a great writer as well! Thank you for reading my post!! :)

      Yes I think it's alphas nice to keep some things private, it's more fun that way! ;D

      Lots of love. Xx

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