If you’ve been paying attention to the news this week, you may have caught wind of an article in the NY Timesthat caused heated debate about privacy on Facebook and other social media sites.
It got me thinking about sharing and over-sharing online. What’s ok to talk about and what’s private?
When Facebook first came out, I jumped headfirst into posting about my life with my “friends.” Being an angstful teen at the time, I didn’t think twice about sharing details about my relationships, grades and escapades with my friends.
My family couldn’t understand why I would want to “broadcast my life” to people. Of course, they were only concerned for my well-being (I definitely needed to censor more), but I remember having several heated arguments defending why I was on Facebook. Of course now they all have profiles and are catching on to Twitter.
When I decided to take it to the next level and blog about my life, I was happy to get mostly positive remarks about my sharing. People have told me that they’ve identified with my posts and have gotten some good ideas for meals or wedding resources. However, there has been the occasional comment about how I “share too much,” or “should think twice about posting details.”
Honestly though, I think writing about my life online has been a wonderful way to connect with like-minded people who have identified with what I’m going through. Nothing is better than a comments from an old classmate\colleague\or even stranger to find out that they read my blog and my posts has helped them in some way.
I do have some guidelines though. When thinking about whether or not to write about something, I typically ask myself these questions:
- Is there a chance a reader will positively benefit from what I’m writing?
- Would I be embarrassed if my mother (or mother-in-law) read it?
- Is there anyone mentioned in the post that I should get approval from?
In general, I think that I err on the side of sharing vs. with-holding (like when I wrote about my underwear). I’ve seen people dealing with cancer, death, infertility and other life-alterning things, share their stories online and receive tremendous support from the community.
There is a fine line though, and I don’t intend on crossing it.
What do you guys think? What will you share or not share online? Do you think people need to censor their posts or do you want to read more?