Social media throws out personal boundaries

Natalie Gray

If you’re ever wondering what your friends are doing every minute of every day, just check their Facebooks.

At any given moment I can see who is at the gym or what people ate that day. But it doesn’t stop there; people post their innermost thoughts, personal struggles, relationship issues, academic successes, failures and more.

Personal boundaries are diminishing and people are using social media as a diary for everyone to read.

“Being online gives people a certain sense of power that they can do anything which eliminates personal boundaries and allows them courage they don’t have in ‘real’ life,” said junior public relations major Steven Macias. “Nothing is personal anymore. The second most people get in a relationship they change their status before even telling their parents or best friend. Everything is open to the world.”

My personal favorite statuses to ridicule are the ones posted by whiny girlfriends who think it’s necessary to put a magnifying glass on their problematic relationship. It gets even more entertaining when they later complain about people butting into personal conversations-despite the fact these “personal conversations” are happening on a social network open to the world.

“The overload of info comes most often when people complain about their relationships,” Macias said. “They get down to the nitty-gritty of what’s wrong in their relationships and don’t skip details. Instead of spilling their guts online to friends, acquaintances or strangers they should just go to a bar like the rest of us.”

This obsession with announcing your every movement is hilarious to me. We’re so quick to tell others to mind their own business, yet people broadcast their lives on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and more, putting private information under a spotlight.

Aside from the blatant obnoxiousness of information overload, there are some safety issues with posting all the dirty details of our lives.

When you leave for a vacation, don’t announce how long you’ll be gone or when you’re leaving. Especially if you have a not-so-private profile. You might as well post a sign on your door saying “no one is here; feel free to break in.”

“Checking in everywhere could lead to a stalker being able to find you,” said junior photography major Erica Reyes. “They could determine patterns in your activity and figure out where you may be during the day.”

Life will go on if your friends don’t know where you’re “checking in” on Facebook every five minutes.

Social media is an extremely effective tool for staying in contact with long distance friends and family, promoting a business, advertising and circulating news. But people often fail to realize who their audience is. Future employers and current bosses will check social media profiles to see if employees are who they say they are.

Being a nanny, it would be stupid for me to post pictures of me drinking or write statuses with profanity. No one wants to hire a nanny with a potty mouth and a drinking problem.

“Just remember people who are going to hire you do check the Internet now,” Reyes said. “So post as if a family member or a professional person were going to be looking at your media. Also check your privacy settings and make sure you are sharing with just your friends and not the entire world.”

Think of how would you feel at a family dinner and someone read your posts aloud. If you wouldn’t be proud or behind your online rants, then you should really think about putting a filter on your online posts.

“Sure, a person’s online media might be just accessible to just their friends,” Macias said. “But your friends could share your post with their friends and then your business is out there.”

People hide behind the Internet by saying bold or overly personal statements in a status they would never say in person. By getting the desired attention online, people feel as if their lives are given validation from ‘likes’ and comments. It’s sad to see this outreach for acceptance from people – sometimes people you barely know.

Think about how much you would tell a complete stranger face to face. If you wouldn’t tell that person, you probably shouldn’t be posting it online.


Natalie can be reached at: [email protected]