First and foremost, HAPPY NEW YEAR!! I wanted to share a very intriguing article I came across on LinkedIn the other day entitled “STFU: The Coming Age of Self-Censorship” by Dave Pell and how he discuss why he keeps his innermost thoughts to himself due to the dangers of “over sharing” via social media.
As I was reading, I began to reflect on all the social media shenanigans I went through in my Senior High/Freshmen in College years as a result of using Social Media as a “Diary.” Now don’t get me wrong, I was not pouring my little heart out in every posts, expressing my EVERY thought process in vivid detail but was still over-sharing nonetheless. I’ve had other social media accounts at the time but I really began to formed over-sharing habits once I joined Facebook. I tagged EVERY place I visited, EVERYone I hung out with, EVERY guy I dated, etc… Not to mention I was tagged by friends in the infamous wild and crazy college party pictures. They’re gone now. Thank God! *Whew.*
Once family members began lurking on Facebook, I turned to Twitter as an “outlet” to unleash all the things I would be judged for saying (lol). Needless to say, I no longer “over-share” let alone post anything on social media unless it is my blog posts, positive/funny memes, inspiration quotes and of course, the occasional selfie. You never know who is lurking. It could be a potential job, relatives, school, police, neighbor(s), stalker(s), FBI, crazy exes, etc.. The possibilities are endless!
We’ve ALL heard stories of that one guy/girl who did not get the job, got fired from their job, or got arrested due to a post on their social media account. Its sad that you can type in Google, “jailed for Facebook/Twitter post” and see the number of cases pop up. Smh. Like Dave Pell stated in the article in regards to the Justine Sacco Twitter incident, “Twitter, regardless of your follower numbers, is a public platform, The rules are clear enough. If you want to test out your offensive material, you’re better off doing so privately, like, say, over the phone.” On Twitter, it is extremely easy for tweets to go viral. Unfortunately for Justine, she learned the hard way.
There are also many people who have the “Its my page, I post what I want” attitude and to be honest I completely agree. It is indeed your page and you should post whatever you want as long as it is not hurting anyone or putting someone in harms’ way. That’s unfortunately is where the lines are blurred for some.
If you are on social media by all means post whatever you feel is appropriate but understand nowadays “Freedom of Speech” no longer applies when it comes to the Internet and be aware that there is someone out there nosy enough to lurk on your page. Is self-censorship important in today society? YES. Especially when the things you post can get you locked up and possibly ruin your reputation. Is it fun? NO but if you’re like me and despise nosy people, holding back on posting a few things come second nature. Is Self-Censorship important to you?