The art of keeping it to yourself

Social media is everywhere. From the iPad to the smart phone to, gasp, the actual computer, its accessibility is limitless. However, the content is as well. People seem to think social media is just a “friend” to talk to and share with your good news, problems and drama. It’s not.

When did that saying, “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all,” go out of style? Just because you have your opinions doesn’t mean you need to share them 24/7.

Sure, you can post your celebratory “I got the job!” status, but what you should really be doing is taking down all of those not-so “professional pictures” instead of counting all the likes you got.

Speaking of status, do I need your entire life story every hour? No.

A fragment on Twitter with a #hungry does not make a great tweet. Does the book of faces really need to see 15 different, but really all the same, pictures of your car? Nope.

How about a five paragraph essay on what’s going wrong in your life and how you’ve managed to find the silver lining? Eh, not really. Twitter wins that war. You can only complain for 140 characters.

The other day in class Ann Preston, SAU professor and chair of the communication department, used Wal-Mart as an analogy for Facebook that really struck a cord with me.

“Facebook is like Wal-Mart,” Preston said. “It is like if you just went to the people at Wal-Mart and asked them to store some of your personal items in a Rubbermaid container on the shelf. Would you feel safe leaving your stuff on the shelf for people to go through? No. That’s what Facebook is. People think it’s private, but it’s not at all.”

Don’t flatter yourself social media users. We are the generation of involvement and spewing our lives online, but we don’t even look at half of the “news” on our feeds. Next time, please apply the rule we learned many years ago in our plastic kindergarten chairs, think before you speak—online or otherwise.

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