Do You Think We Share Too Much On Social Media?

Irish Examiner
Do we share too much on social media?
By Arlene Harris
Tuesday, March 29, 2016



Do we really need to post and boast about everything in our mundane day? The urge to record is taking the spontaneity out of life, argues Arlene Harris

What is it with people nowadays? Everyone seems perpetually compelled to share every detail of their (often mind-numbingly boring) lives with the world.

Do you really need to tell your Facebook ”˜friends’ that you are having a wonderfully romantic anniversary dinner with your other half – if it is that fantastic, why the Hell are you wasting time posting (read boasting) a message to your timeline?

Perhaps it is a generational thing, but I cannot figure out why everyone feels the urge to reveal themselves in this manner. It seems that no-one can go for a drink, buy a pair of shoes or even make a decision about what to have for dinner without putting it ”˜out there’ for everyone one to comment.

The celebrity world has obviously taken this obsession to the extreme with everyone from Essex to Hollywood pouting in front of a mirror in their scanties as they reveal their ”˜gym- honed’ bodies and slam ”˜jealous’ social media users for ”˜body shaming’ if anyone dares to say anything negative about their extraordinary need for attention.

Kim Kardashian, the queen of naked selfies, got her knickers in a twist (well she would have if she had been wearing any) when Bette Midler made a quip declaring that an internal camera shot would be the only way of showing a part of the reality star we hadn’t seen before.

I’m firmly with Midler on this one as I genuinely cannot understand what propels someone to put an image like this of themselves online for the world to see.

And it’s not just the KK’s of the world who are guilty of this either as our own teenagers post slightly less revealing versions on social media every day. Complete with trout pouts, the young generation is not too far behind with their need for approval as they prepare for a night at the local disco (or more worryingly an afternoon in town).

There was a time when the finger of blame was always pointing at teenagers but mature adults can be just as guilty as their younger counterparts when it comes to oversharing ”“ how many people do you know who litter their Facebook pages with the minutiae of their children’s lives?

Yes, it’s lovely to mark the passage of time with images of their first step and first day at school or even regular updates on their birthday – but some parents can’t help taking this to the extreme and invite the world to marvel at their child’s brilliance several times a day – how can they not see that this is both irritating and slightly worrying – do they not have better things to be doing?

And herein lies the problem; instead of living their lives, millions of people are creating virtual lives through social media. You may think that the regular posting of ”˜spontaneous’ family shots depicted in artistic black and white, the announcement that you are poised to kiss your ”˜amazing’ new girlfriend or the gushing greeting to your one-year-old is sending a message to the world that you are happy, successful and enjoying your life, but in fact all it shows is that you spending too much time on social media

.What happened to private moments between loved-ones – surely they are more meaningful than a slushy message on Twitter? And what about memories – isn’t it better to watch the concert, firework display, eclipse of the moon or sunrise over Newgrange with your eyes rather than through a lens – so the video of said event can be uploaded as soon as possible?

Life is short people, so every moment should be lived for yourself – not for others to validate your existence or even to make them jealous of your amazing lifestyle, body or career – so put down the phone and look around you, there is a whole world out there waiting to be explored.

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