I guess every event of our lives is on Facebook, blogs, Instagram, and other parts of the Internet. It's nothing wrong with it. For some, it is easy to get frustrated by those who lie and make excuses. It is like one coworker who calls for work to say we can't come in due to the flu or LBM or whatever. But we can see in their timeline and stories the place they have been before the end of the day. We see beach photos enjoying themselves. They are tag in from their friend's socials, on the beach, and enjoying themselves. Same with relationships, we can see Juan got a new relationship, or Mary is dating.
We posted every detail cast in our lives, even birthdays, weddings, and yes, even hills and funerals. They even have pictures. On the other hand, social media also brings us closer. But usually, we post these pictures and videos for our friends, relatives, and loved ones. That's why, given the nature of the Web and social media, there are many chances that even people we don't know can see our posts. They are the friends of friends and let's also include the friends of friends of friends to the nth level. Sometimes it's okay because we have a chance to meet new people and develop new friendships.
Most people make social media a blow-by-blow account of their lives. Like most millennials, they will post photos of their breakfast and also #OOTD on occasion. Of course, they will post their relationship status, whether Single, In a Relationship, or It's Complicated. We can see live videos from the insects to the noisy karaoke of their neighbor, as well as the caught rat. They will argue that experience is not enough. We need to be broadcast all over the world.
Oversharing in Social is Stalkers' Haven
We do not want anyone to interfere in our lives. But with every rant, complaint, and disclosure of our problems on social media, we are annoyingly inviting people to our problems. And if our online friends react, we get angry. Such hypocrisy, we put that in a public space and rant about why others minding our problem. Even the art of confrontation is lost. Before someone even knows we have a problem with them, someone already told Facebook and the world. Sadly, the person concerned was the last to know that we had a problem with them.
Oversharing in our social media can be a haven for stalkers. Most of the time, we do not have to be afraid of stalkers. But with the advent of Facebook and other social media sites, we make their cause easier. If someone researches our lives online, we are just a few keystrokes and a click away to find out something about us. It is easy to find out what our favorite foods are, the ones we go to often, as well as our home address. There are also social media that allows us to tell the world were we going to a place like Starbucks, mall, cinema, or even your home. With that, it is easy for stalkers to follow us since we broadcast details almost every day.
Social media can be used for crimes and can jeopardize our jobs. For starters, we can say our social media account is personal and has nothing to do with your job. In reality, most companies look up our social profiles even before we get accepted for a job. Of course, people have different convictions and views on personal affairs. But if we post some photos and updates that are a bit funny and awkward that may not align with the values celebrated in that company, we can be in trouble. We can be easy victims of crimes with oversharing in our social media. All they need to do is observe our online check-ins and easily predict where we are on a particular day and a particular time. It becomes even more dangerous when kidnapping and various types of crimes against young people.
Convenience comes with a price tag.
We can be grateful for how comfortable access to communication is through our social media. Also, we live where we are free to express our thoughts and views online. But then again, it is not just governments that monitor us. Even big companies, like Google and Facebook, monitor our online lives.
As much as I love Gmail, I know it also looks at the contents of my emails. We can see tailored-fit ads from what we searched a day ago. Most of the time, those ads are from our interests and the content of our email. On Facebook, we can notice the ads on the side of our timeline, specifically targeting us. All online service providers can monitor all our online activities. Every time we share something online. We give away information to online companies. Every time we like or visit a page, an artist, or search a keyword. Not only that, when you listen to songs, watch videos, and read or share articles, those are web services and become the basis of their business.
A smartphone is not just for calls, text, socials, or play. It has a GPS (Global Positioning System) device that snoops us around. If we need direction to a place, our smartphone can track how to get there from our location. When we email, post, or chat, our activity is a lock to where we do it through GPS. I find it annoying for a company to track our activities. Is it OK for Internet companies to do this? I guess it is. It is easy for others to tracks where we are going. Thankfully, they aggregate the data. It just takes the averages of different people in different places and does not attach the data to our name.
Will the big online companies get this data? They will sell it to other companies or Internet marketers in the form of targeted advertisements. Likes and our online behaviors have a dollar value. Social media gives us convenient, fun, and free-to-use means to express ourselves and connect with others. Although we traded our privacy over convenience, we should not forget that we still need to protect our privacy. Think of it this way. Everyone needs not to know our lives.
In exchange for our use of social media, we agreed to its terms and conditions. In the end, the issue of privacy is a matter of access to your life. Anything we want to be private, we don't share it online. We can still meet and chat over coffee with our friends and loved ones. That won’t go out of fashion.
Nicole CKrämer and JohannaSchäwe, Mastering the challenge of balancing self-disclosure and privacy in social media, Current Opinion in Psychology, Elsevier Journal.
Arthi Nachiappan, Social media stalking on rise as harassers dodge identity checks, The Times
Haron, H., and Yusof, F. B. M. Cyber stalking: The social impact of social networking technology. 2010 International Conference on Education and Management Technology.