Tag Archives: social media

Where are the lines in social media over-sharing?

morning gossip

A morning gossip in New Orleans. Public domain image courtesy of Arnold Genthe and the Library of Congress.

I share. You share. A lot of us share. Share and share alike. We share things on social media to educate others, to show unique and funny images, to entertain others, or to make them see some aspect of human existence in a new perspective.

Heck, as someone who’s involved in blogging and digital marketing, I like it when people share what I’ve done. (As long as they give me proper credit and don’t try to claim it as all their own work.) Creating shareable content is part of my profession.

But there are limits. There’s been some stuff I’ve seen in social media that I wish I could UN-see. One of my Facebook friends shared an image of a motorcycle accident victim and the accident had removed the outer skin on the hand of that person (think CSI and the medical examiner scenes). Ugh. I really didn’t need to see that, but I understood the person was making a valid point about proper motorcycle safety.

A few weeks ago, I heard a story on the radio that horrified me. The hosts mentioned someone who sent out pictures of women he’d hooked up with to his male and female friends; the images were sent out while they were still sleeping. They debated, pro and con, whether to say something to that person.

Now I try to be open-minded, but to me, doing something like that without the other person’s consent is NOT cool in any possible universe. I doubt those women would have given consent even if they were awake, anyway.

There is this thing called privacy, and it should be respected in your own place, at least.

I’m not suggesting that all social media should turn into Pollyanna overnight (as if!) and I know there is no way to regulate people’s behavior, but I wonder — where should we draw the lines? Some social media companies have drawn some lines; they make it clear that their platforms are not to be used for behavior such as cyberbullying or sexting, but it happens anyway.

Companies have their lines too. Nobody wants proprietary information to go public, and people can be disciplined or even fired for sharing that information.

Apart from that, what are the reasonable standards to use? For me, I don’t use my social media to embarrass somebody or to make malicious fun of them, and generally check in with someone else to make sure it’s okay if I share a story in social media they told to me. The information’s going worldwide, after all, and is going to stay online for a very, very, very long time.

One of the presenters at Digital Summit put it best: After someone’s come and seen the content you’ve created, will they leave with a sense of being the better for it? I like that standard.

Blog readers, your thoughts? What are your personal standards for sharing in blogging or other forms of social media? Let’s talk about it.


Filed under Social Media