Garfield Senior High School

Opinion: Streaming and Oversharing Online

Sharing has always been a prominent part of what the Internet is and how it functions. And with social networks exploding in popularity in the past several years, sharing content and connecting with others is probably the one function we utilize the most on the web.

And just recently, a new way of displaying our lives to the world has surfaced, a practice known as streaming, which enables users to record their lives in front of a live online audience. While this does enable one to connect with others and build a following, there have been many cases of users arguably streaming too much of their lives, which in turn can have adverse effects. This begs the question — are we exposing too much of our lives online?

A mistake that we often make is posting or sharing content such as  photos, locations or simply personal profile information, for everyone to see. We should try to refrain from statuses such as sharing your location, for not doing so may pave the way for predators to track our every move and do harm.

In March of 2013, a teenage girl was murdered while home alone in Tulsa, Okla. A few hours before she was killed, she tweeted, “Have the house to myself everybody gone.”

As we can see, there’s a reason to be concerned about oversharing. Beyond the potential for embarrassment, oversharing can have long-term consequences. Like in this case with the teen, the act of her sharing too much personal information could’ve been a possible cause of her own death. Despite this scenario, other consequences may apply to your social life, your education and your chances for employment.

None of this suggests that you should stop sharing completely online, but simply serves as a caution to be more aware and less open to the public. The dangers inherent in social networking stem precisely because of its power and usefulness. But as in all things, great power comes with great responsibility. Lock your accounts, don’t post about upcoming or ongoing events, consider who might read your posts, don’t post other people’s information and most importantly, be aware and concerned about potential dangers of the internet.