It’s a Secret

People can be so odd about what they will and will not reveal about themselves on social media.

I mean, I should talk, right? I’m this weird woman with the overly-precious pseudonym and the secret blogging site. On the other hand, I’ve tried to be pretty clear that nobody should expect much information about my personal life here on this blog. I like my secret identity as much as any superhero, and it’s much more fun to blog when nobody knows who I am.

Still, I think the opposite extremes of sharing too much and too little on That Certain Social Media Site are perhaps an interesting illustration of human nature.

You have the people who are constantly telling you way more than you ever wanted to know. How they feel. What they see. What they did while they were logged out and what they are planning to do next week. When they’re on vacation. Where they’re on vacation. Why they’re on vacation. Where they’re staying. Where they’re eating. What they’re eating. All I have to say is, the only person’s vacation I ever want to know this much about is my own. And I will grant the possibility that other people’s interest in my vacation may be limited.

Of course, I don’t have a smartphone, so I’m not out there taking vacation pictures every twenty minutes. I shudder to think that, when I finally invest in a smarter hand-held communication device with a point-and-shoot camera attached, that there is even the remote possibility that my boundaries will shift into over-sharing mode. I certainly do hope not.

On the opposite end, you have people who only share things that have been created by other people. Things like links to articles, quotable little postcards, and online quizzes. I don’t understand why people would want to participate in a social media experience while revealing nothing about themselves. I mean, don’t they know how much fun it is to talk about yourself online? Don’t they want to be in charge of what they say and how they say it? I guess not, and I cannot understand.

And then you have the cagey people who reveal only partial information about their lives, information that inspires a lot of “What? Where? You didn’t tell us! Tell us more!” in the comments section. I can’t figure out if these people are purposely trying for this kind of reaction, or if they are clueless in some really basic way about what they are putting out there. I’m not saying that people should be out there publishing their exact addresses and phone numbers on That Certain Social Media Site. But it does seem to me that if you are going off to college, for example, the status update “Leaving for college! See you in four years!” doesn’t really cut it. I mean, either you want people to know about one of your major life events, or you don’t. Online coyness isn’t charming.

Except when you keep a secret blog.

Love you & leave you,

Hobbie DeHoy

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