I like social media, and can definitely see the value in it, but what still amazes me is just how much personal information people are willing to share so publicly. This was a topic of conversation when I met some friends for a couple drinks recently, as we ended up discussing what we considered to be Facebook oversharing. While one friend saw no problem in posting detailed accounts of the day, the rest of us were in agreement that letting everybody and anybody know such personal information is not only unnecessary, but in most cases, boring.
From the likes of Facebook and Twitter, we were able to ascertain that in one day a girl from school had broken up, then got back together, with her boyfriend, another had a bad stomach, while an ex-colleague was about to embark on her second run of the day. Aside from the obvious security issues of oversharing, what bothers me most is the complete lack of privacy. I haven’t spoken to ‘Sarah’ from school for ten years, yet I know that she hates her job, is going to Spain for her holidays and likes to bombard her followers with pictures of her dinner every single day.
Maybe I’m jealous (I want to go on holiday), guilty (I should go for a run) or simply uninterested (the food), but it looks like I’m not the only one easily frustrated with some fellow social media users. A recent survey looked into the most annoying online habits and found that diet and fitness boasters came up top, followed by meal sharers and cryptic status writers.
Facebook and Twitter are useful communication tools and, for me, a great way of keeping in contact with friends and family I don’t get to see so often. However, while I like knowing what Facebook friends are up to, I feel there is a line and there’s really no need to broadcast your stomach upset.
Mind you, maybe I shouldn’t complain. After all, if these people stop, what else will I have to talk to my friends about over a bottle of wine?