Monday, February 28, 2011

The problem with social networking

I have noticed lately that people seem to want post every little thing that happens in their life for the world to see.  While social networking sites can be useful tools (I'm using a couple right now) they should be used in moderation, not to replace actual human contact.  I have seen many things on the net from arguments between people to down right slander, threats and intimidation.  Why would someone post information on a public board having no control over where it ends up or who reads it?

Now aside from that here is the real problem.  If you post personal information or hardships out on these sites for people to comment on, you give them ownership of your problem.  Now since anyone can comment you have given them the opportunity to share and twist your hardship however they see fit.  Whats worse, is that you have effectively iinvited them into your home and they feel that they have a right to question you.  In asking questions they often feel like they are a part of the event.  The truth is that some asshole that you knew in high school 20+ years ago has no right at all to the information that you have given them.  Additionally, they have no right or legitimate use for the answers to their own questions.  Effectively you have taken a complicated problem and introduced more complications.  You have invited people that are neither part of the problem nor part of the solution, they are irrelevant.  They are distractions and everything is because of the information that you shared.

You give them permission to make comments and form opinions based on very few actual facts.  Often this leads to sideline conflicts, slander and all sorts of problems that make it hard to focus your intentions where they should be focused, on the problem.  If you take information that was given to you in confidence and put it out there for the world to see then you are truly touched.  There are only two reasons that you would do that, the first is to gain sympathy for yourself which is just base.  The second is to slander and or harass the individual whose information you let out and that is criminal. 

In any event, think before you post and if the information is not yours to release at least ask for permission.  You may be making the problem worse for every one that is actually involved. Be careful which parts of your life you let people in on, it might just bite you in the ass, or worse.  Sometimes, you may cause a problem for yourself with consequences of a magnitude that you cannot even imagine.

1 comment:

  1. Can I quote this as a note on my facebook page? I think you said it just right.