Wednesday, 6 May 2015

The Disadvantages of Sharing Your Life on the Internet

My friends were watching a show recently enough where detectives were trying to piece together someone's personality based on their online presence. I know this because they texted me saying the detectives would have pretty much my whole life down pat.

I can't deny it. Using my Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Wattpad accounts plus my two blogs, especially this one, you could get a very clear picture of who I am and what I care about - and that's only my public online activity. Those are just a few of my dozens of online accounts. 

So I'm thoroughly enmeshed in the Internet. 

I will admit, however that there are significant drawbacks to sharing your life online. Here are two big ones:

Lack of Privacy 

I don't share my address or phone number, but a bit of digging through the archives would find you my email address, full name, birthday, age, general location and even my school. All the photos make ID theft even easier. 

(Then again, many people's Facebook accounts also provide a lot of information, and I'm too young to have a credit card or mortgage so it could be worse.)

While I do understandably omit the worst or most private things in my life from this blog, everything autobiographical I write is true, and I share things I'm worried about and try to be candid about myself, because that builds an authentic relationship. 

It does give rise to another downside, though...


I'm an annoying, somewhat socially inept person, and oh boy does the Internet amplify these flaws. I'm going to give you examples even though it pains me, because I believe in owning up to things.  

That time I freaked out after blowing an interviews with the consequence that they didn't publish it. Just the other day, I found this guy on Twitter who's part of the DYC 2015, so I thought he was cool and asked some light question to start a conversation, only to then totally misinterpret his reply and look like an idiot. 

Another time, I was bored waiting for the pitch at Bootcamp and started scrolling down Twitter, favouriting and retweeting things as usual. I was distracted and didn't realise I was actually going through Ciara judge's Tweets, which are remarkably similar to my own tech-heavy feed. Replied to something and suddenly she was all 'stalker'. How was that explanation going to fit in 140 characters? Other embarrassments include important emails addressed to the wrong professor, accidentally calling a professor I'd never met 'Joseph' instead of 'Dr.' (Got such a snarky response), and every single one of my YouTube videos. These things probably don't matter to anyone else, but that's always the way. 

So why do I still do it? Come back tomorrow to find out the benefits of sharing your life on the Internet. 

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