Social media can be so fun. It’s easy to keep up with friends and family and share important milestones. But sometimes you can get too comfortable with technology.
It’s like you forget you’re wearing your super soft — but a little holey — decades-old pajama bottoms; the ones that shouldn’t be worn out in public. At all. Not even to the bus at the end of the driveway.
In that comfort, it’s too easy to share too much, to go too far. It has happened to most of us at one time or another. A little too much info about a family dynamic, or a financial or health situation makes its way onto Facebook or Twitter, and online — and real life — dynamics are suddenly awkward. It’s over-sharing. It’s mommy TMI.
Learn about and use privacy settings
Before you share a single thing on social media, learn about — and make sure you understand — how content is shared online. Know who can see what, and if you can customize settings, do. Understand that what is seen also may depend on the settings of others. For example, the content in the scrolling updates on the right of the Facebook window may allow your status updates to be seen by people you don’t know if common friends comment on it. Really.
Consider content and frequency
Take the stranger test
How do you know if you are over-sharing? If you would feel weird if a total stranger came up to you in your town and gave you intimate relationship advice or suggesting a parenting strategy, you likely over-shared. Should everyone know that you bounced two checks last week? Nope. Or that you were finally able to get that prescription for the fungus problem your preteen is having? No way. That information might be fine for only your closest girlfriends, but not the world at large. Make a phone call instead.
Consider how often and what you are posting on social media, such as Facebook. It’s the same lesson you give your kids as they enter the digital world; take your own advice. Just like kids need to remember that once they put something out there, it’s out there, so do you. Do you really want to post that you’re angry with your sweetie and why? Is that going to help you resolve conflict? And that bare bum photo of your daughter might cause real embarrassment later.
If you are posting on social media with great frequency every day, you might want to pull back a little — or a lot. Not only can frequent posting start to wear down your self-filter, it might be a sign you need to be proactive about your time away from the screen. Time to get out with your mom friends, not just post status updates.
Keep a little for just yourself
It was Coco Chanel who said, “Modesty, what elegance!” While she was referring to fashion and style, it’s just as apt for what you reveal about yourself, especially on social media. Holding back, leaving something to the imagination, whatever you want to call it — it’s a concept to consider.
Social media encourages you to share everything — everything — about your life online. But that doesn’t mean you should. Hold something back — keep something for yourself and face-to-face friends and family — not Facetime-to-Facetime. Fight the urge to over-share!