Let me share on oversharing

Published: 10/6/2016 10:00 AM
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BY JENNA WASAKOSKI

THE NEWS-ITEM

jenna_w@newsitem.com

I just ate a plum. This morning I drank cold brew coffee I brewed all by myself. Yesterday, I cleaned the house and dyed my hair.

It’s not new news that we live in an oversharing society. Facebook battles, selfies, pictures of babies and animals — really there is not much mystery anymore for most.

Over the weekend, Kim Kardashian was robbed at gunpoint in Paris during fashion week of millions of dollars worth of jewelry and (gasp!) her phone.

Now, say what you want about the Kardashians. Talk about oversharing — there’s not much we don’t know about their lives after all these years of reality shows and the spotlight in general.

However, that’s terrifying. I don’t care how you feel. Like many celebrities who came to her defense said when it became an online joke, she is still a mother, daughter, sister and wife. She has babies, and a family who cares deeply for her. So, to dehumanize her is unfair, but seems totally fair game because “she puts herself out there.”

No. Sorry. We’re all human beings. Be nice, for heaven’s sake. You don’t have to like her. I don’t particularly care much for her, but I thought it awful she experienced something so traumatic.

However, she shares a lot, and I mean, a lot, on social media.

In comparison, I’m roughly 5 percent as bad as she is when it comes to oversharing, which is saying a lot. But I’m not internationally known — yet.

Stranger, danger

I’ll speak of myself on a much smaller scale because last time I bought myself a ring, it came on plastic backing along with four others and which were on clearance for $2.99 and her one ring is worth tens of millions.

But, the truth is, I don’t know a lot of people who follow me on social media. I have significantly cut down on posts because, a.) I was sick of perverted comments from weirdos and b.) Important people in my life were sick of perverted comments from weirdos.

Still, I Snapchat, I Instagram, I Facebook.

I like to be social on social media and much of it relates to attention, but some of it makes certain days not so lonely when I can interact with my online friends. And I emphasize the word “friends.” Sometimes people say really out of line things to me who don’t even know me. Luckily, I’m confident and secure enough to light them up and order them to discontinue their shenanigans.

But that doesn’t mean they are going to. I mean, who am I dealing with? How do I know they don’t have multiple accounts. I can be as absent-minded as a turkey drowning in a rainstorm just by looking up, so it’s no surprise I’m a bit irresponsible when it comes to sharing on social media.

It’s widely accepted Kim’s location was pinpointed via her social media activity — a practice the family had been warned of by police after Kylie gained herself a stalker. But, they’re a brand. Their social media presence keeps them relevant and that’s what made them the oversaturated sensations they are today.

And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with branding yourself if it aligns with your career goals, but I do think there are precautions we should all use in order to keep safe in this unsafe world.

Location, location

Many social media outlets identify your location when you post something. There are problems there. OK, say I post and it says I’m in Ocean City. Well, now you know I’m not home, nor will I be for another 4 1/2 to 5 hours depending on traffic. That makes where I live vulnerable. Dumb move just to brag I’m at the beach.

Other times I’ll be local and “check in” somewhere. Well, if I were to attract the attention of a stalker of my very own, social media would be basically drawing a roadmap to my whereabouts. All because I needed someone to now I was having breakfast with a friend.

Look what I got

Another mistake is to brag about material things. I guess we get so used to sharing, why wouldn’t we want to tell the world we just bought a $5,000 television. But in a town where fingers are so sticky, crooks can’t even read a magazine, you’re laying out inventory. Couple this with your vacation posts, and you’re sending out embossed invitations to loot your goods.

I feel pretty

Here’s one that I struggle with. As someone who grew up with the self esteem of a hairless mole rat, the days I feel pretty or good about myself are monumental. Do I post pictures for attention? I guess, but it’s more for that chubby, awkward mole rat inside who still struggles with liking herself.

Branding

I’m not necessarily a brand, but I share, some (see: many) may say, entirely too much through this column and that spills over into social media.

For a few reasons: First, it makes this dynamic with you and I work. It’s like we know each other. I share my pain, my struggle, my hatred for Crocs and we relate. One person recently told me my column reads as if we were sitting next to one another having a conversation.

I like that. I like to keep it personal. Others constantly criticize my grammar, but this is me as a columnist. I’ll keep grammar in check in my role as an editor, not here. Second, I feel like I’ve been through a lot throughout the course of my life. I share those things in order to encourage others it’s possible to conquer the rough stuff.

My goal is always to help, to encourage, to uplift, but with that comes the cost of sharing my story in order to validate what my point may be.

I want people to know who I am, but I don’t want them to violate my privacy or disrespect me.

It’s a double-edged sword.

In today’s society, we have to be careful whether we’re Kim Kardashian or a small-town journalist.

So, have your fun, but realize there is danger in the details. Practice safe sharing.

(Jenna Wasakoski is an assistant editor at The News-Item. Her lifestyle column appears Thursdays.)

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