What’s that? Are you complaining about my lack of blog posts? Luckily, due to the magical powers of the internet, I can quickly delete your comments, begging for me to continue writing because you can’t go on without my wit and humor for another week. If only everything we posted about ourselves could be so easily deleted.
Honestly, I am so grateful to have grown up in the age where I could not post my adolescent escapades for all the world to see. I go on YouTube and see the most ridiculous videos posted online or twitter/facebook where a quick argument with friends turns into an online bloodbath (not so much now because I am older, but this certainly still exists for younger generations). I remember the soap opera that was high school some days; I can’t imagine what my 14 year old brain would have said about “so and so” back in the day.
This graph depicts the amount of people who regret oversharing personal information online:
The last three statements: worrying about other people sharing your own personal information; posting personal information about themselves; and posting personal information about someone else demonstrate how younger generations felt the affects of the technological era and online identity. Keep in mind this is the 18-35 year old range, when computers were not the “norm” during childhood and people could foresee the potential dangers about posting things online. This is why it is important for teachers to education students (at a young age) about online identities and repercussions for sharing personal information online. In a later post, I will go into further detail about online identities and how it can affect employment and other opportunities.
And never mind the regrets people have for posting personal information online, how about the need to brag about your life over the internet. I can’t tell you how many pictures on facebook I have “untagged” in my youth because of unflattering angles. You all know what I mean, when you are looking down at the camera and your face has somehow mutated into something you have never seen or want to see again. In fact, the popular “selfie” pose is often the only thing you see on facebook now. This is giving people a distorted reality for what people actually look like. Come on, social media, don’t you know we have television and other forms of media to portray genders, specifically women, in the worst possible way?
Charlotte Alter explains FOMO or “fear-of-missing-out” as a disease we have to fight because distorted reality in social media makes us unsatisfied with our own lives. Your appearance is generally flawless on social media websites (unless it is against your will). What do you normally post about? “Oh hey, look! I am sitting on my couch eating Cheetos — the puffy kind. Do you think puffy or crunchy Cheetos are better?” Now… I won’t lie to you, I do know of a few people on facebook who write these kinds of posts, but they seem to be a rare breed. More often than not, what gets posted are the crazy adventures friends go on, vacations, accomplishments in academics, or recreational activities that make you go “IF ONLY MY LIFE WAS ONLY THAT AWESOME!!!” Keep in mind that every day life is not posted to facebook; if it was, we would have solved the puffy or crunchy question years ago.