5 Ways to Share Smarter Online

Sue Scheff
October 27, 2020

We live in a time where many people (of all ages) have become comfortable documenting their offline life — online. This has caused problems for some, especially if you’re in the job market or applying to colleges.

As most of us know, you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression, today that first impression is what an internet search will say about you. Right or wrong, in most cases people won’t take the time to decipher cyber-fact from cyber-fiction and will move on to the next candidate.

What is oversharing?

Oversharing is when people share too much personal information to the public or a stranger. It can happen both on and offline. However, it is a big problem on social media sites, which make “putting yourself online” easy.

I want to cite 2 interesting studies that help us to understand there is truly no benefit to oversharing online.

1. A  report from UCLA confirmed what I have been saying for a long time – oversharing on social media is putting you at potential risk for becoming a victim of cyberbullying or digitally shamed.

People have less sympathy and empathy for those that over-expose (overshare) themselves and end up being ridiculed or harassed than those that are innocently minding their own business or have fallen victim to an online prank.

2. According to a Harvard study, humblebragging (such as oversharing too much about yourself) can get you in trouble – they are perceived as less than credible or genuine people, not well liked and viewed as insincere.  Some were even considered frauds. Not everything needs to be digitally documented.

5 Ways to share smarter online

1. Is it necessary?

Are you social sharing for your platform or oversharing for your ego? Not everything you do offline needs to be on display down your feeds.

One way to prevent this is avoid sharing in haste. Don’t be so impulsive about sharing in the moment – enjoy your moment and reconsider later if the world really needs to see it.

2. Emotional sharing.

Are you having a bad day? Arguing with your partner or friend, maybe your boss? Your cyber-friends are not cyber-therapists. Take it offline.

Avoid using your social platforms as vending machines.

3. Inappropriate content.

Although this should be self-explanatory, there is never a place for profanity, nudity, drugs or any other irresponsible posts.

I understand that some may believe that sexting is normal, however never believe that anything is private online – especially with technology. What goes on in the dark – can and will come out in the light. Post at your own risk.

4. Constructive sharing.

Especially during this year of COVID and politics, we are all struggling with stress, anxiety and angst. There has never been a time that we need to be more careful with our tone online. We all have differences of opinions on social responsibility as well as politics. If you can’t share constructively, do yourself a favor — take some time offline.

There’s nothing wrong with agreeing to disagree, however when you turn to cyber-combat online, no one wins. No one listens and it’s a reflection of your character offline. Be constructive, not combative.

When in doubt – click-out.

5. Know your audience.

Before you share a comment, post or image — who are you sharing it with? Is it friends, family, teachers, colleagues, co-workers, etc…. Is it a public post for the entire world to view?

What we need to understand, as we remember the infamous tweet of Justine Sacco, that cost her public shaming and her job, even sharing with your small number of friends doesn’t guarantee you safety.

It only takes one person to copy, paste and post – and one of your personal images or content will then become viral. Again confirming – there’s really no such thing as privacy in the digital world.

Share with care.

This article was first published on the Sue Scheff Blog. Visit the original post here.

Written by

Sue Scheff

Sue Scheff is an author and Parent Advocate. She founded Parents’ Universal Resource Experts, Inc in 2001. Her expertise is educating parents that are struggling with their out-of-control teenager and Internet safety for both kids and adults. In her book, Shame Nation: The Global Epidemic of Online Hate (Sourcebooks), Sue Scheff equips readers to handle cyberbullying, trolls and other digital disasters. Find out more at on Suescheff.com.