My Love Hate Relationship With Social Media

I’ve always been a big fan of social media, even in junior high at 13 I was on Xanga before I pledged my allegiance to Myspace freshman year. It’s fun! It gives you the ability to connect with people all over the world and people you’ve know forever. However, I feel like we’ve entered this period of social over sharing where we feel obligated and expected to connect with every single person that we’ve ever come in contact with.

The person you met once at a party adds you on Facebook, a friend of a friend of a friend adds you on Linkedin, your mom is following you on twitter, and your baby sister is on instagram. And people get offended if you don’t follow back or accept their request. So here you are feeling obligated to add someone you barely know or someone who you’d rather not share information with because you know them in real life.

Now you have to limit what you post, be aware of you say and comment on, and where you take pictures. You just wanted to post a photo of you and your friends now you have to put on a jacket, move the wine glasses out of the way, and make sure nothing incriminating is in the background so your Granny, Boss, and Sunday school teacher won’t think you’re a skank and a drunk. (Even though you’re legal and really like that strapless dress.)

Sometimes I like to watch, say, and do things that have nothing to do with my career goals or my university– it’s just for fun! There are things I would never walk into a classroom or interview room and say, but with social media I feel like I’m yelling them in people’s ears. Sometimes I like to do things without commentary, criticism, and feedback. I just wanted to express myself honestly. When I was in elementary we used to have “Free writes” for bell ringers, draw or write anything you want for 15 minutes. It’s not for a grade, you don’t have swap with your neighbor, and I won’t read it. My teacher would say

“I just want to get your creative juices flowing and let you get anything off your chest.”

If I tweet “I hate burger king” I don’t want to explain why I hate it. I don’t want a 15 tweet dialogue comparing various burger joints from my followers, or you saying you love burger king and I’m crazy! No one was talking about what you like, I was saying what I like.  I’m not writing a compare and contrast essay. Maybe someone doesn’t want to be asked about why their relationship ended when they come into the office on Monday. It’s personal. And don’t get me started about how people psycho-analyze tweets, sub-tweets, and photos and come up with these crazy ideas. (Somebody somewhere is probably writing a dissertation about Rihanna’s instagram and twitter)
Sometimes school friends are only people you wish to converse with at school, and work friends are only people you’d wish to talk to at work; but how do you let them know that?

What do you think? Am I just easily annoyed? Do you see people over sharing and overstepping their boundaries on social media? Do you feel like you’re always being watched??