Why to Pause Before you Post
Usually at this time of year, my mind would be filled with everything Back-to-School, but lately I’ve been noticing something that I think we could all take a pause to think about: social media.
These are the days where social media is king. There are many positive outcomes that are a direct result of the power of social media and unfortunately many negative results as well. Once upon a time I used to believe that when it comes to social media, people can only know what you choose to tell them. If your kids were acting like wild animals in the grocery store, you don’t have to post about it. If you’re fifty loads behind on your laundry, you don’t have to post a picture of your overflowing baskets on Instagram. And if your kids had Kraft dinner or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the last three nights, no one has to know.
What concerns me is a trend I’ve been noticing which I feel sadly disregards personal privacy. While I believe the initial intentions may have been pure, it unfortunately morphs into what should be considered online gossip and really none of anyone's business unless those involved want it to be. Let me give you an example to explain what I mean. I belong to a friends and neighbours group online and it's a great avenue to share things like upcoming events (garage & bake sales), promote your business, ask for recommendations and even reunite lost pets with their owners. During inclement weather there are usually several posts about slippery road conditions and people also post about accidents, including what roads to avoid so you can change your planned route ahead of time if need be.
What I’ve noticed is that what may have started out as a message to warn you to choose an alternate route has turned into a sensationalized account of a potential tragedy. People seem to have an entitled attitude about everything in that they want to know what happened, who was involved and then they chime in about what could have/should have been done differently to avoid the accident. Some people even go as far as to post pictures of the accident if they were in the vicinity or post a link to an article about the accident. I don’t have an issue with people posting online to warn of road closures due to accidents, but what people fail to consider before they post is that the people involved are someone’s friend or family member. Imagine what it would be like to find out about your friend or family member’s accident online. I think that those who need to know all the details of the accident can do so on their own time and give those involved the privacy they deserve.
Technology has changed so much already in my lifetime and we literally have a world of information at our fingertips. Most of the time you have the power to share or not share what’s going on in your life. When it involves the lives of others, it’s very important to think twice before share and remember to respect the privacy of others. The story you may want so badly to share is someone else’s reality, so please, pause before you post.