Oversharing on the Internet: When Authenticity Goes Too Far

I recently listened to a podcast episode called “The Age of Oversharing” by Approachable (Samantha Ravndahl & Alyssa Anderson). Sam is a pretty popular beauty influencer with over 2 million instagram followers, and Alyssa is her best friend from high school. I love their podcast for this reason, because I think it’s super interesting to hear the different sides and different views the two of them have over topics such as this one, of oversharing on the internet.  

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In the episode one of the big things they referred to was that you’re almost in a sort of catch 22 with how much you share on the internet. Followers always want you to be open and transparent with them about things that are going on behind the scenes and to know every detail that is happening, but then sometimes when people overshare they’re seen as narcissistic or full of themselves. You really need to find the balance in pleasing your followers and giving them some information about your life, without sharing too much and still having the ability to keep certain things private.

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One of the things Sam brought up really resonated with me. She’s recently been a lot more open on social media about her mental health and dealing with depression, but she acknowledged that it’s still a battle, and she doesn’t exactly want to talk about it sometimes. Yet, because she was open and talking about it, people now view her as a sort of advocate for mental health, so she’s been thrust into this mentorship role whether her mental health is in a good state or not. It’s hard when you see that the things you’re sharing are helping people, I know personally that Sam’s conversations about mental health have helped me to realize that I wasn’t alone in the way I was feeling, but then you have to wonder if sharing all of this information designed to help people was to her own detriment. 

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Personally, I would like to brand myself as being authentic, and not purposely being fake for the camera, and things like that, but I do think there is a fine line between being authentic and real and sharing too much with others. There is the struggle of trying to figure out where this line lies. All of social media is new to the whole world, and different generations are adapting differently. The truth is: nobody has the answers and we’re all still learning. That said, there are some things we can do to try and mitigate the risks of social media. 

PsychCentral has a blog post by Paula Durlofsky, PhD, discussing the benefits of not oversharing on social media, and she’s offered some tips on how to prevent yourself from sharing something you may regret later. 

  1. Don’t post when you’re feeling emotional 
  2. Use private messaging to resolve conflicts 
  3. Prepare yourself for negative responses 
  4. Protect your privacy 
  5. Be aware of social media overload and internet addiction 

Please make sure to check out Dr. Durlofsky’s post for more details and information! 

If you haven’t heard it already, please make sure to check out the Approachable Podcast wherever you listen to Podcasts! (Spotify, Youtube, Apple, Google, etc.)

So I’m curious: how much are you willing to share about yourself online? Do you think there are some things that should never be shared on social media? 

Are you sharing too many private details online? http://bit.ly/2usqAuX #Privacy #Overshare #TMI

How do you choose how much of your life to share online? Check out this post for some tips! http://bit.ly/2usqAuX

Weirdmaste – the weirdness in me honours the weirdness in you

weird

adjective \ˈwird\

Simple definition of weird

  • : unusual or strange

Full definition of weird

  1. of, relating to, or caused by witchcraft or the supernatural: magical
  2. of strange or extraordinary character : odd, fantastic

From the Merriam-Webster online dictionary

cupofcontempt

A few weeks ago I was served a scalding hot cup of contempt liberally laced with scorn. My crime? I had “gone all weird” and that was “uncool and unacceptable”. Hmmm….

Why all the hostility? What’s so wrong with being weird? Not a thing. And weirdness is plenty of things that are oh-so-very right.

Weirdness – being strange or extraordinary – as the Merriam-Webster dictionary definition defines it, is the very thing that has pushed individuals and society forward.

Weirdness challenges the status quo. That of course is scary for people like my contempt-pouring barista from hell. But challenging the status quo also means pushing boundaries, taking risks and asking difficult questions. Those activities are the wellspring of innovation and I for one am very grateful for all the mod cons that innovation has brought me.

Weirdness is a bold leader. So many of the most fundamental ideas and values we espouse today were introduced to society by so-called weirdos. A round earth that circles the sun? Crazy talk! Women’s suffrage? Those were some pretty strange ladies chaining themselves to the railings. Smallpox vaccine? Riiiiight. What kind of kook could convince people to be injected with dead viruses? We need our weirdness to fling the door of progress open and shout “Hey, follow me!”

Weirdness gives us the audacity to be authentic. Sure, sometimes authentic people are a little frightening. Their honesty and integrity can cast too bright a light and therefore too long a shadow on individuals or groups who prefer a less candid existence. But authentic people are also honest, respectful of themselves and others, and nonjudgmental. Works for me.

Weirdness is your touch of divine madness. Audacious, authentic and daring, weird people are willing to explore their passions and creativity and give them a voice. Name me an artist or thought leader from any society or era who wasn’t considered weird for his or her time. I don’t think you can. Weirdness pushes us past conventional thinking to embrace new ideas and new modes of being. Whether you love their ideas or works or not, isn’t the world richer, more diverse and simply more intelligent for having had the likes of the Buddha, Hildegard von Bingen, Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Elizabeth I, Newton, Wordsworth, Kandinsky and John Lennon and all their weirdness?

Am I weird? You bet! It’s one of the most beautiful things about me. Your weirdness is one of the most beautiful things about you too. It’s your authenticity. It’s your originality. It’s your unbounded joy. So you be weird. Wave your freak flag and shine your weird light so I can find you in the dark.