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Be Wary of What You Post Online

by Jasmine Renshaw, Special to the Mirror

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As Bill Gates once said, “The Internet is becoming the town square for the global village of tomorrow.”

This town square allows us to share our interests and opinions with our peers, and often times complete strangers without much of a second though. Constantly building our online reputation, by either polishing or tarnishing it. Is this something positive that we have at our fingertips at all times? Or is this hindering and hurting our generation?

First, I think it’s important to explain what oversharing is? It is defined as revealing an inappropriate amount of detail about one’s personal life, specifically in an online setting. Social media has given us the freedom to say what we feel at any hour of the day.

Whether what we have to share if positive or negative, it can be sent out in a matter of seconds for hundreds or thousands of people to see.

According to Robert Siciliano, an online security expert for McAfee, “Online reputation management and mitigation companies are a booming business because people just can’t stop posting things they shouldn’t, which often have long-term negative effects on their personal and professional lives.”

Because a majority of people can’t utilize their personal censor, companies like Reputation Management Consultants are hired to censor their posts for them.

Why do we overshare?

Well, because we live in a world controlled by the media, it’s easy to follow suit, sharing and oversharing every minute detail of our days. Our television is constantly cluttered with an overwhelming number of reality shows that document every small detail of a celebrity’s day. Because of this, it would be easy to think that you’re supposed to do the same. Anywhere from that glorious picture of our frozen yogurt uploaded instantly, or a written complaint about how terrible that math test was, our “followers” know exactly how our day is going and where we went.

As stated in an article titled Oversharing: Why Do We Do It and How Do We Stop?, “The decision to share or not share has less to do with the piece of information we are passing along and more to do with our own mental and physical state. Anger, pain, elation or the adrenaline high from a good workout are all more likely to make us effuse online or in real life.”

So, as a basic rule of thumb, don’t share things when you are upset. Wait 24, think about the what point you’re trying to get across, and what the most appropriate way to word it would be.

The consequences of oversharing can be as insignificant as slight embarrassment, or as drastic as a lost job or scholarship. Anything posted online is practically set in stone, a permanent record of your thoughts and feelings from any particular day. So, no matter if you delete your post, the information you’ve given can be stored somewhere on the web where future potential employers, current employers, teachers, and peers have the ability to view it even after you think you’ve removed it.

So no matter how you’re feeling, it is important to remember, “You only live once, so think twice,” especially when it comes to something as permanent as your online reputation. Monitor what you say, how you say it, and who you say it to, because you never know who will get a hold of it and how they will use it.

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Be Wary of What You Post Online