Do you remember life before social media? I don’t, either, but I imagine it was a simpler time. A time when everyone could breathe a little easier knowing that last night’s antics would be safely hidden within the confines of a disposable camera, which would take way too long to bother developing. A time where your regrettable statements could simply be torn from the pages of your diary. A time when ex boyfriends could be confined to a box of old notes and gifts stuffed in the back of your closet.
But now, look at us: we’re willing and able to share every moment, every thought, every half-baked idea with the world at large. We’re tweeting at dinner and checking Facebook on our smartphones before our eyes have fully opened in the morning.
As wonderful as it is that Twitter allows me to know what Steve Nash ate for breakfast with his adorable children, it also opens a worldwide door for oversharing (like the dude I know whose Facebook status just had to share the details of his recent back-waxing).
The line between sharing and oversharing is blurry at best, but here are some key things to consider for all of your social media circles:
The first step toward getting a new job is getting a foot in the door for an interview. The second, unspoken step is surviving a vicious and thorough Googling by all of your potential co-workers. Even if you’re not on the hunt for the new job, ask yourself:
Does your boss really need to see photos of you taking three shots of whisky on a Thursday night?
Do you want your intern to know how you feel about your ex-boyfriend?
Is it important for your entire office to know the details of your relationship status?
Should your entire team have access to your spring break photos from sophomore year?
It’s wonderful that Facebook has replaced the need for actual family reunions, but slightly horrifying when you realize that your 15-year-old cousin is posting photos of herself that would make even Miley blush. So, remember:
Your grandmother WILL comment when your profile says you are now single
Your married sister will absolutely notice when you update your status at 3am and have checked into a bar on Facebook places
Your dad will not have the same sense of humor as your guy friends, and he has the free time to click on every video posted to your profile
Your dudes (past, present and future)
If there’s anything harder than dating, it’s probably a marathon. But if there’s anything harder than THAT, it’s dating with the added pressure of the internet presence. Take it from a girl who writes about this stuff on the internet:
Any status message or tweet even remotely related to an ex doesn’t seem mysterious, it seems weird and sad and pitiful. If you have to let the emo out, do it in your journal
Before you talk in any way about how happy you are with a dude, it’s best to determine your relationship status offline first
A break-up in real-life means a break-up online. You don’t have to unfriend him or block him, but you do need to be honest with yourself about your own boundaries.
Your Uhhhh-How-Do-I Know-Them’s?
You know you don’t actually KNOW a thousand people, so don’t pretend that you do. Most of our social networks are clogged with people we kind-of sort-of okay don’t really know all that well. Honestly, think:
Should they know when you’regoing on vacation? Hello, rob me!
Do they need to know about that weird dream you had the other night where you gave birth to a talking baby inside of a canoe on a river of Diet Coke?
Do they really need a constant update of every time you visit the gym?
When in doubt, pretend that everything you’re writing is going to end up on a billboard along with your name, address and photo. Now imagine that billboard is facing the freeway that your mother, grandmother, boss and first-grade teacher pass every day. And if you’re me, post it anyway.
What’s the worst overshare you’ve seen in your social networks?