As I was laying down for the night, with my pillows all fluffed and comfortable behind my head, I pulled out my iPhone and did my usual catching up on YouTube. I didn’t think there would be much to look at other than a typical makeup tutorial or some weird food eating challenge, but I came across a very strange video in my inbox that made me so uncomfortable that I couldn’t watch the entire thing. The video was of a woman in her late twenties, sobbing and panting as she tried to get the words out through her grief over the fact that her boyfriend had cheated on her at a gay club. This was not the first video she had ever made crying so outwardly for the internet, so I wasn’t entirely surprised by the fact that she had put herself out there in such a way. After watching only about a minute of the video, I felt like I was invading her private life. I wondered, are people revealing too much on the internet?
When social media started to pick up speed and nearly everyone and their grandmother finally had a Facebook or opened a Twitter account, people started to question this idea of posting too much information, but no one really did anything about it. At a young age, I was told to beware of talking to strangers on the internet or sharing information that could lead creeps to my door, and now we interact with internet strangers every single day whether we are liking a tweet or commenting in a forum. Interacting with strangers on the internet has become the norm, even for young children who have access to these platforms. So, if it’s so easy for strangers to see us on the internet, why do people continue to post every detail about their lives for these strangers to witness?
During high school, when I created my Twitter, I didn’t think that I would one day be using Twitter or the internet in general as a tool to further my future career. Having a Twitter account or some form of social media is not a requirement for jobs, but many jobs want you to know about social media and to be on it to promote their brand. The problem with combining social media, personal life, and work life is that it becomes impossible to separate the three and they intertwine into a confusion about what to post and what not to post. For the girl who was crying in the YouTube video, making videos about her personal life has become her job as she makes money from video views.
But now she has stalkers, everyone knows the drama in her life, and her work relies solely on her own self destruction. It isn’t people sharing photos from a party or saying that they’re having a bad day that I am questioning, when it comes to sharing too much on the internet, it is this one question that surrounds it all: Where do we draw the line?