Monday, December 21, 2009

Oversharing, bypassing the filter in your head and just plain common sense

It used to be that if you overshared the details of your life, you were considered immature or unprofessional. It used to be that if you said whatever popped into your head, you lacked tact. It used to be that if you publicized that you weren't going to work because you were drunk, you were an idiot.
No more.
Now, the latest technology encourages us to do all of the above. Twitter, Facebook: the ability to update from anywhere. This is great if you're famous or cool, and we care. However, I do not need to know what you're making breakfast. I do not need to know that you're doing laundry. I do not need to know that you're cleaning out your basement.
I know- let me stop your objection before you voice it. Yes, I use my Facebook postings to detail the antics of Nehi. Hell, I have a whole blog dedicated to her viewpoint. But I would argue that there's a major difference between me and the twits. I THINK before I post. I CRAFT responses. There are days when I search for the best, witty, allusions I could make. This sense of common sense, seems to be what is lacking the most in this use of technology.
I think part of the problem is that people use the technology without understanding it. They think that they are sinply sharing the intimate details of their life with their 300 closest friends. But you're not. Even if your profile is set to private, there are still details that people can pull off of it. It's also out there forever. It's the Internet and it doesn't just disappear when it no longer appears on your screen. And as Murphy would have it, it's always the stuff you don't want seen.
-Inappropriate postings
-Drunk pictures
-Inappropriate comments left by friends
Postscript: Also stupid, posting that you're applying for a job somewhere else. Even if you've let your current boss know, that just seems, well, tacky. And embarassing if you don't get it.

All things that reflect badly on you. Because the second part of this is that you need to learn to police your profile as well as you do what you put on it. Delete that comment that your numbskull friend posted. Untag that picture (or better yet, as your friend to delete it). What other people put on your profile reflects on you as much as your updates do.
This technology is wonderful, and makes a whole new world accessible. But that is part of the problem. People don't think about the consequences, they just get caught up in the fun of it.
Maybe it's my 90 year old peeking through, but I don't think that you should post that you didn't go to work because you drank too much last night. I also don't think it's a great idea to have every other post on your profile to be about drinking. I don't think you should post inappropriate pictures. I don't think you should let friends post things that others would find offensive or foul. Some things should remaing private.
Maybe I have a different opinion because I'm a teacher. I have a twisted sense of humor, but always stop and think, because parents, bosses and students might not get it. I think of everything in terms of "Assume everyone will see this." Maybe I'm just not a fun person. I don't go out and get trashed (let alone have people take pictures of it), I don't act inappropriately; I live a life that revolves around my dog, my books, my job and my family. Not a lot of R rating material (unless you consider my language).

So the point of this long ramble is this- the lack of common sense in the world is something that constantly surprises me (as stupidity always does) and there are days when I marvel at the stupidity. Today, as I read a post about someone getting their tubes tied (eww) it just got the brain gears rolling.
So there, those are my curmudgeon thoughts for the day!

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