Social media has become a big part of our lives. We communicate, engage and interact every second of every day with friends, family and professionals but the question is ‘Are we oversharing?‘
As someone who is keen to work in digital marketing, some people may believe that it is important to be on every social network possible in order to increase engagement on numbers on every platform however I don’t think this is necessary. From a professional perspective I do believe it is interesting from an organisations point of view to test the waters with different platforms. This enables them to see what works best for themselves and figure out where their audience is at. However, when it comes to us regular joes, I think we should stick to what we know, understand and have the most interest in. Personally I choose to use Twitter as a place to rant my thoughts and Instagram as a way to get creative with my photography and share my life in real time with my followers. When I am posting regularly on this little space, I find promoting my posts on Twitter will give my post engagement as it is where my audience is at most of the time.
Once you’ve chosen your platform, the next step is to be able to use it in a positive way. Nowadays there is so much negativity being shared due to various different reasons. I’ve always wanted to be that positive and happy account that someone can turn to when they are having a bad day, a bit like turning to a friend when you are feeling a little bit upset or down and just want to have a chit chat. However, I also want to be relatable and if I am having a bad day I want to share it in order for my followers to understand that they aren’t feeling alone and not everything online is pitch perfect all the time. There’s two ways that I have made my accounts more positive. The first was to de-clutter my social media accounts. I’ve been on social media now for over 10 years so you can imagine the amount of times I have hit the follow button and now the content they are putting out is either not relatable to me or just not having a positive impact on my mental health. Secondly, I have curated a feed that either inspires me or motivates me to get creative. This allows me to get some form of pleasure when I open up the apps rather than dreading seeing something negative pop up. Before I did this I felt so overwhelmed, lost and crowded in a world of numbers and lots of differing opinions.
Social media is amazing for networking and reaching out to people. Don’t stop using it just because you are having a bad mental health week. The networks we have created are an extension to ourselves and our personality. Like I said previously, I love Instagram for being able to get creative especially now I have left University and I use Twitter to promote my blog. Although, since growing up online I found that I want to share a little bit less about my personal life and what happens in it and more about the things that I enjoy and advice for those who are in my age group. I have found myself stepping away from hitting publish straight away and thinking about what I am sharing on the world wide web. I remember when I was at University, my tutor explained to me that a new employer doesn’t want to see you drunk with your knickers on full display staggering out of a night club. You’ll regret it later on. I’ve heard this being said so many times before but ‘what would your mum think?’ If you think she would be ashamed, annoyed or upset about what you are publishing, commenting or engaging with online then the answer is simple. Don’t do it!
Back in my University days, I remember understanding how important it was to look after thee reputation of the brand or client you are working with. From a brand’s perspective you are there to protect your brand from damage and promote and share the positive things that they do. Now if you think of it on a more personal level, the key is to control the content of your social media. Plan what you are going to publish, sustain the effort that you put into publishing that content and establish a mutual understanding with those who you communicate and engage with. I know that a lot of people who work in social media, whether it is as a PR executive or a well-known influencer, they keep their personal and professional lives separate from each other. You can do this by restricting what people see on your accounts through close friend lists or by having separate private social media accounts.
It is safe to say that I am a Twitter addict. I’m obsessed. I post my thoughts and then delete them, sometimes. However, it is important to monitor your screen time. I believe that growing up in the digital does have its positives but too much screen time can start to have an affect on our mental health. It can be easy to compare what we are doing with others online but I think it is important to understand that we are only seeing 20 minutes of somebody’s lives in a video or what they want to share and not the full aspect of what is happening behind closed doors. There has been plenty of times in the past where I have posted something to Instagram saying how happy and proud I was of something that I achieved when really I was crying in the bath because I was struggling with communicating with my close group of friends. I have allowed myself to have other hobbies such as reading and doing more things outside of being online and it has really helped me to take a step back from social media.
So, are we oversharing? As a society, I believe that we are rapidly sharing a lot of information about our lives on social media but we are still learning where our boundaries are. I feel as though it is a positive thing that we can communicate our thoughts and views online however it is important to understand that everyone will have different views and that they are entitled to their opinion. You have to understand before clicking on Twitter, Instagram or TikTok that everyone is at different stages of their lives and to try and not compare yourself with others. Remember you don’t need to be online all of the time to keep up with everything.
What’s your opinion? Do you think we are oversharing on social media? Let me know in the comments or send me a tweet.
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Is it the case that, in addition to personal over exposure, companies can be doing the same?
That is an interesting question but I don’t think there could ever be too much exposure for companies. They want to get themselves known and be better than their competitors and engaging with their consumers as much as possible can only be a positive thing. However I think when it comes to employees of that company then over exposure could be the case. Employees shouldn’t announce anything to the public unless otherwise stated by the company itself, if an employee reveals how bad their company is then that will have a negative effect on the company.