I recently stumbled upon this article in The Wall Street Journal and it got me thinking: has social media turned us all into braggarts? In a day and age where it’s so easy to share pieces of our lives with one another (and so easy to receive both positive and negative feedback), how far is too far? Does your entire Twitter feed need to know the flattering compliment you received today? Do your Facebook friends really care about the flawless weather you’re experiencing at the beach (photo of you laying in the sand, overlooking the water included)? Probably not. The modern-day social media environment has caused users to take what used to be private moments shared with a few close friends and encouraged them to instead broadcast them over every network possible–with a loud-speaker.
Just to be clear, I’m not calling anybody out. In fact–I’m so, so guilty of this. I’ve made a Facebook status about a great weekend and tweeted an Instagram picture about an amazing meal I just experienced at a restaurant (where I also checked in on Four Square). When I got my job, I was so proud that I put up a Facebook status–and yes, every “like” I received felt like a personal congratulations from that person. Why? Because I like to share my life with the people I care about. And somewhere in that group of hundreds of Facebook friends are a handful people who care what I think and care what I do (hey, Mom!), so I do it for them.
The problem isn’t in the sharing, but rather when it goes down a bad path–when the posting stops being about sharing your life and your experiences and your voice with others, and starts being about how many “likes” will inflate your ego, and how many retweets will make you feel superior. Social media has the power to make us feel so great–and also so low (but we’ll get to social media inflicted FOMO another time).
So I’m interested in what you guys think. What’s your stance on sharing through social media? Are there some things you don’t post, others that you keep to yourself? What drives you crazy and what is A-OK when it shows up on your feed? Is it weird to talk to a friend about a great weekend they had, only to wonder–but why didn’t they post about it on their Facebook? Where were the Instagram pictures? Has it all become so commonplace that you just accept it?
Also, I’m probably going to tweet this.