Have you been constipated for a week and now you finally had a bowel movement? You must tell Facebook immediately!
Are you and your boyfriend madly in love, and you can’t keep your hands off each other? Post those pictures of you two partially nude and making out, now!
Has all that time you’ve been putting into the gym finally started to pay off? Strip down to your underwear and take a picture of your amazing abs to show everyone on your friends list.
In actuality, sane people don’t behave that way. That’s just how people who share way too much information about themselves on social media behave. For some reason, the internet has altered our logic on what’s OK to tell others and what things are best kept to ourselves.
We no longer consider whether we should say something aloud; we just do it. That can be dangerous while living in times when all an employer has to do is Google you.
Aside from employers, that number on your friends list represents real people. They’re taking everything you share about yourself and storing it in their memory. They’re also building perceptions of you based on what they know of you from your Facebook.
With that in mind, there should be a line you don’t cross so you can avoid sharing too much of your business that other people don’t need to know. The key to determining what is sharable is actually very obvious when you think about it.
Before you click “upload photo,” ask yourself, “Does everyone need to see this new tattoo of my baby-daddy’s name on my left boob?”
Chances are, you wouldn’t show them your left boob in person. More importantly, they wouldn’t want to see it. Don’t upload it!
Before you make that picture of you looking ripped in your underwear, stop and think about it from a different perspective.
Ask yourself, “Would I strip down to my boxers in front of the hundreds of the people on my friends list if they were standing here with me in person?”
Most people wouldn’t unless they do that for a living, and surely you aren’t one of them.
How wonderful that you found someone who makes you happy! But before you update your status about how your boyfriend’s touch excites you, ask yourself,
“Would I talk about my boyfriend exciting me if my father were listening?” I’m sure you wouldn’t unless your family is very disturbed. It’s fine to keep your friends in the loop when it comes to your life, but before sharing information about yourself with Facebook, you have to determine if it’s something people need to know.
Ask yourself, “If everyone on my friends list were standing right in front of me, would I tell them, or show them, to their face, what I’m about to post online?”
If you could say “yes” to yourself, go ahead and communicate that information to the people on your friends list. You’re safe.
If you would be too embarrassed to do so, or feel it is too much information to share, keep it to yourself. That’s all it comes down to.
You can still experience life without having to inform your social media about every little personal detail that takes place in your day.
Your friends may love you for trusting them with all your information, but they’ll love you even more if they don’t have a mental picture of you in your underwear every time they see you.
Do everyone a favor and find that balance between TMI and information you can share.
Jack Chavdarian is a senior journalism major and the assistant social media editor for the Daily 49er.