TMI: How to Prevent Social Oversharing
We’ve all come across that person on Facebook or Twitter who updates their feed every 15 seconds. We know everything about them, from what they had for breakfast to how often their children go to the bathroom every day. This is called social oversharing, and it’s affecting way too many people.
Oversharing not only annoys all of your fans and followers, but it can also put you in danger. For example, if you constantly share your daily schedule, you are giving people access into your routine, and they will start to recognize when you’re home and when you’re not home. If someone wanted to ransack your house, all they have to do is check Facebook. (And yes, this does happen. Just ask Keri McMullen, who had her house robbed after telling Facebook she was going to a concert.)
Companies are at fault for oversharing too. Scott McClellan, former VP of Hewlett-Packard, posted details about the company’s cloud services on his LinkedIn profile before the news was scheduled to go public.
While updating posts and tweets is half the fun of social media, it’s very important that you take some precautions. The following are four tips to help keep you from oversharing on social media.
1. Don’t share personal information.
Some people think that since they’re “friends” with people on Facebook, it’s okay for them to have access to certain personal information, such as address, phone number, place of work, etc. The problem is that you don’t really know who all of your friends are, and even if you do, you don’t know who they’re friends with. With Facebook, it’s all about the privacy settings. If you have your account set to private, but your friends have their account set to public and they post something on your wall, this post is now public.
2. Don’t share everything.
Think of social media status updates like this: only post when something is extremely important and relevant to your friends and followers. Nobody needs to know what you ate for breakfast. Nobody needs to know how many diapers you changed throughout the day. Nobody needs to know that you’re folding laundry. When you share every detail about your life, you’re giving people access to your routine as well as access to your life.
3. Use caution.
Before you post, consciously think if the information can be harmful to you or someone else in any way. Make sure that it doesn’t put you or your friends or family in jeopardy. Don’t post about long vacations you’re taking or long vacations that your friends are taking, as this lets people know that your home will be empty. Don’t let people know what bus you take home or how you walk to work, as this could also put you in danger.
4. Don’t share confidential information.
Some people overshare when it comes to their job. It’s best to not share anything about your job through social media, as you may end up sharing confidential information, just like Mr. McClellan. While you probably didn’t do it maliciously, it could still do enough damage to get you fired.
You also need to keep things like your phone number, address, credit card info, social security number and anything else that is confidential off social networks.
Social media is meant for us to be social with one another, not share every detail of our lives through the Internet. Make sure to use this tips to refrain from oversharing, and you’ll keep yourself safe.