On June 30 Mashable will host its third annual Social Media Day. I, like many of you I’m sure, will get actively involved and celebrate this event. Yeah! A whole day of social media goodiness. You’ll follow it on Twitter; share stuff on Facebook and Pinterest; and if you’re super nerdy you’ll find a Meet Up in your town or city. I just checked the Saskatoon Meet Up. Five people registered so far. Yikes, that’ll be awkward.
In prep for this global event I thought I’d do some reading on the subject of social media. I mean we all know what it is, that’s easy. But I have a lot of unanswered questions about social media: Why has it become what it is? Where is it going? What if Facebook completely screws up? The list is endless really. Although if Facebook did disappear, what on earth will we do with that extra hour each day?
Amongst the many blogs and articles I’ve read this past month, the one that startled me the most was something I read at the beginning of the week. Online-Education.net produced an Infographic—don’t you just love Infographics? We adore them!—on the potential dangers of over-sharing. And the stats here are pretty frightening. But why am I so startled by this?
I know I share information online, I’m not an idiot. I tweet, I post, share, and tag on Facebook, and I have a LinkedIn profile. I obviously write here too, so anyone with half a brain can easily find out who I am. If you’re a dedicated follower of this blog you’ll know I’m from the UK, I live in Saskatoon, and my name is Craig. However, it would just be as easy to pick up the phone, call the office and ask for the person who writes the blog.
So why do we do it?
Why do 20.4 million people share their full birth date on Facebook? Why do 4.8 million people post when they leave home? Got a smartphone? Then you’re 33% more likely to be a victim of identity theft. I do it because I’m careless and clearly blasé about it. I put trust in social networks privacy settings and their statements about my content being “secure.” Haha! I laugh because a) what they say is a joke and b) what do we do when something bad does happen?
Had your LinkedIn account hacked recently? Were you angry? Did you log into LinkedIn and close your account or did you do what they said to do—after they apologized—and just change your password? What if that was your bank giving away confidential info about you? You’d storm in their blazing; you’d demand your money and close your account. Unfortunately social media doesn’t work like that. We share, we get burnt, we repeat the cycle.
Do you think we’re sharing too much? Leave your comments below.