Are You Ok With Strangers Knowing Intimate Details Of Your Life?
My friend used to call Facebook “Fakebook.”
Sure, everything we see on social media is but one version of reality. It’s a kaleidoscope of thought leaders, models, and influencers carefully curating moments from their life to create a montage designed to titillate. In the name of inspiration, it can fill the consumer’s mind with a thousand insecurities and the need to fill their lives with meaningless accessories, make-up items, gadgets, and appliances.
The detrimental impact of social media usage has been well-documented, but are the people on the other end invulnerable?
What happens to the ones who create content to tempt and fill us with envy? How are the influencers influenced by this culture of exchanging moments in their daily life for money?
This article takes a look into how cheap information has become in today’s digital age. You might not be an influencer, but you share your thoughts with the world. Maybe you write articles on Medium or post photos and stories on Instagram.
Have you ever controlled the kind of information you share? This article presents to you a perspective that might change the way you create content online.
Post keeping that “one person” in mind
Everyone has that one person we hope never sees our content. Maybe it’s your boss, your father-in-law, or the little children you teach at school.
Imagine what would happen if they come across every single item you’ve posted online. Sure, you might apply layers of security and keep deleting your posts time and again, but once something is posted on the internet, it stays there forever. There’s a very real possibility the one person you hope never reads your articles might stumble across your profile and have access to every bit of information you shared.
Would you be comfortable if that happened?
If your answer is no, maybe you need to control your information better.
Or maybe think of that stranger in the cafe
The internet gives us that fake feeling of security, making us open up to the extent that we end up sharing personal information we won’t even tell our closest friends.
I have friends who aren’t influencers sharing their morning and night routines on Instagram stories. They post pictures of the coffee shops they frequent and play little “Know me better” games which give an insight into their thought process. I’ve seen them post travel pictures with a timestamp and a location tag — broadcasting to the world a map tracing their location.
On Medium, I’ve read stories that might not give away personal information, but they very well reveal the way you formulate your thoughts. How you swallow your pride and keep showing up day after day. How you disguise your insecurities behind your words and present a picture of perfection.
But this is information literally anyone can access and misuse.
Imagine you’re sitting in a cafe quietly enjoying your cuppa. The stranger sitting across the aisle could have come across your profile and might know what kind of clothes you wear to bed, the first thought you have in the morning, what kind of food you like to eat, what’s your general mood for the day, and so on.
And the scariest bit is: you don’t know that they know.
Imagine how much impact they’ll leave on you if they strike up a conversation. They know so much about you, they can very easily paint a picture of perfection — one that will seem irresistible and you might end up becoming best friends.
If the idea makes you cringe, maybe it’s time to curate your feed better.
I agree this is rather far-fetched, but no matter which way you look at it, information is power. A stranger with that kind of information about you might have control over your life in some form. Maybe you won’t even realize it before it’s too late.
I wish I had an answer to how you can monitor the information you share online, but I doubt there’s a perfect way to go about it. But the next time you write about one of your most intimate thoughts online, think of that stranger sitting across from you in the cafe. Are you okay with them having this information?
The bottom line: how much is too much?
If you are willing to share personal information, go ahead and do so. But be aware of all the ways it can come back to bite you.
Weigh out all the consequences. Even a single Instagram story has the potential to change your life forever. Not every change needs to be positive.
It all comes down to one big question: how much is too much?
And the answer is: you define your limits.
I create content in many different forms related to self-improvement, body-positivity, and feminism on several other platforms. Join my email list to make sure you don’t miss out on anything new.