Social media networks have become a part of life in today’s world that one can not overlook due to their many advantages in a fast-paced digital world.
The ability to connect to many new people all over the world from the comfort of one’s home may be the envy of our ancestors who traveled several miles or days to achieve the same.
But social media, like a hallucinogenic drug is addictive and sometimes causes major character alterations in its users.
As if in a trance or in any otherworldly realm, these users tend to share everything and overshare anything on these social networking sites.
So, what is oversharing on social media? It is when someone excessively broadcasts or publishes private information online, mostly with a wide audience.
In contemporary media culture, people share intimate details about their relationships, details of their family dynamics, private conversations, location, work-related information, personal thoughts, and emotions.
Others share daily routines, half-naked pictures, what they eat and wear, big achievements, etc.
Why Do People Overshare on Social Media?
There are a variety of reasons behind people’s decision to share their lives virtually with their family and friends. These reasons are geared toward the satisfaction of one person’s needs or the other.
People overshare on social media to seek the attention they may be lacking in their physical environment.
Others also share information about themselves in a bid to seek validation from others on their relationships, looks, or self-worth.
Meanwhile, people may overshare in order to create a perfect persona of themselves.
For instance, in a study published in 2017 by Newman, Mark, et al., a participant displayed a lot of her athletic information on social media, including many pictures and statistics, because it helped her create a new brand for herself.
The Downside of Oversharing on Social Media
Sharing a part of your daily life online may have its advantages such as monetizing your activities online to earn some income.
Others may have also met individuals on social media who have contributed immensely to their growth and progress, while some even met their life partners through the same channels.
But just like everything around us, sharing an inappropriate amount of your life comes with some major disadvantages.
Oversharing on social media can put a user in danger. Sharing one’s location and daily routines can expose them to attacks such as robbery, assault, kidnapping or even murder.
For instance, when a parent shares pictures of a child with their school uniform or school name exposed, they have indirectly set the child up for abduction, as many criminals use social media to gather intellect about their intended targets.
This happened in 2016 to social media influencer and entrepreneur Kim Kardashian, when thieves allegedly used Kardashian’s social media activity to locate her in Paris and confirm when she was alone.
They broke into her hotel room, restrained her, and robbed her using this information.
Marriages and relationships can crash when the parties involved overshare intimate details online.
When you air your marital or relationship issues, it will invite unwanted attention from strangers with malicious and toxic intentions into your affairs.
Oversharing can put your company at risk of getting breached especially if you have the habit of ranting about your work and company online.
Another downside of oversharing on social media is that a little mishap may jeopardise your reputation which will have life-long consequences for you or your children.
Remember, things posted on the internet are forever. Even if they are deleted, others may save them in screenshots for future reference.
There have been instances where some individuals have lost lucrative life-changing opportunities due to posts they shared online in the heat of anger.
How to Stop Oversharing
Check your privacy settings on your social media profiles to ensure you are not sharing certain information like family events and work-related matters with the general public. But keep in mind, people can always screenshot your posts and share them with others
Anger, like many human emotions, tends to overcloud a person’s judgement so, at all costs, resist the urge to post online when you are angry. You may overshare certain details which you may regret later.
Scrutinise your content before sharing it online. Before you post that half-naked picture or long offensive rant, ask yourself if your future self or your loved ones will be proud of it.
Also, ensure that you post those party or other photographs that give out your location after you have left the venue.
Most importantly, indulge yourself in other activities and hobbies that will limit your time on social media.