Is social media creating a harmful overshare culture?


Marin Cooney, Guest Reporter

At this time in technology, almost everyone has been exposed to social media. Regardless of platform, they all have one thing in common; instant communication. Some may argue that it is a great thing and that it is innovative, but I believe that to some degree, this constructs more harm than benefit.  

The downfall of social media’s sharing abilities was when ‘status updates’ were introduced. Why does everyone feel the need to share what happened to them or what they are feeling all the time? On specific platforms such as Instagram, people post what they do, wear and eat. It seems as if nothing is personal and people can’t simply enjoy their day without having to post every part of it. My question is: how did we end up here where people can’t just live in the moment? Why does there seem to be such a need to share every thought or event that occurs with their friends and family, or complete strangers.

This overshare can cause others to feel insecure about how they live their lives. They worry that their breakfast isn’t glamorous as someone else’s, or  they feel upset that they don’t have anything interesting to share with others. This causes people to not appreciate the little things, to not be happy with what they have and always keep pining for something they think they want. They chase after this “perfect life” and want to put on a front to attract the attention and praise of  others. The satisfaction you have with your day to day life should not be determined by how many ‘likes’ you get. 

Another harmful thing that people often overlook when posting so much on social media is giving away so much information that it poses as a danger to their safety. Yes social media is damaging to mental health, but this issue and the correlation between social media and safety problems is probably more common than most would think. For example, someone posts they and their family are on vacation. This immediately tells everyone who sees this that they are away and their home is empty, waiting for someone to break into. It’s things like this that bother me. Just enjoy wherever you are vacationing. Why do you need to tell everyone else and make them feel bad for sitting around at home. If you want, share some photos with friends and family, don’t broadcast it. 

However, most negative remarks have some upsides. Social media is a great way to share information, ideas and spread awareness for causes. It is also a faster way to make connections and network.  It just gets to a point where sharing a big idea means one thing and sharing every miniscule detail of your life can only cause anxiety for you to feel like your life has to appear “perfect”, and others feel that they are unhappy because what they do isn’t.

As people, just existing in real life is important. Your social media presence shouldn’t determine how others perceive you. Live your life the way you want, and not living to make your account/profile  look impressive. If you want to do that through social media so be it, but if not, don’t feel obligated to do so.