How Much Should We ‘Share’?

This one, I am sure, is quite a debatable topic, and I am looking forward to hear out all the arguments. I apologise right at the beginning if anything here puts you off. This is strictly a personal opinion.

How Much Should We ‘Share’? - Sharing Personal Information Online

This is the Internet age. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Blogs are chronicling our lives to the last detail – which restaurants we went to, which cities we visited, which friends we met and hundreds of pictures are shared of every occasion-big and small. I do it. And I am sure; most of you do it too.

Recently, a discussion prompted me to think about how much of personal information or pictures are alright to be posted online?

Here is my own code of conduct:

On Blog:

  • I started with a pseudo-profile because everything was new for me and I wanted to dish out information when I was absolutely confident about it. A pseudo-profile offers a tremendous amount of privacy but somewhere you start feeling the need for identity as well.
  • Now I use my own name as well as picture. I usually use the same picture or same set of pictures everywhere. In a way, it gives me a control on how many of my pictures are floating on the net.
  • I do not use any family pictures or too much information about who does what or what is my routine and the likes. You get the drift?

On Facebook: (I am not too active in any other Social Networking sites)

  • I keep scrutinising my friend list every once in a while. So, I know my Friend list.
  • I always keep a tab on my privacy settings.
  • I have just opened up to networking with fellow bloggers but they are a selected few and those who share similar sensibilities.
  • I change my profile pictures every once in a while. Earlier I used to upload albums of important occasions but now I have stopped doing that. (I am yet to understand why people post 10 pictures of the same shot and in high resolution).
  • I shared my son’s first picture after he completed 5 months of age. Later I did share few pictures from his first birthday but now I have stopped sharing his pictures. At most I would share a side profile or a photo taken from back. I feel the need to protect his privacy.
  • I share my and my husband’s pictures sometimes.
  • All the pictures are usually of low resolution.

Why I don’t share much information or pictures?

  • It is scary to know that your life and information about family are out there for anyone to access.
  • I am a control-freak in all facets of my life. I have this need to be in control of whatever information or pictures I am putting out there.
  • Most importantly, I think the only one who must decide if he wants to be on the internet is my son himself. Since he is too young now, we need to wait till he grows older. I don’t want him to grow up and realise that his mother has chronicled his entire life on the internet. (See how wonderful it sounds. Honestly, I have been tempted too many times). But he might grow up to be a very private person.
  • Another very important point for me is I need to abide by my own rules. I cannot be posting his pictures and updates, and bar him from doing so. This also reminds me of all the profiles created on Facebook of tiny tots. Why? You can’t create their profiles and then stop them from joining the social network until after a certain age. Of course, if you are okay with your kids joining the social network earlier, there cannot be any discussion about it.

In short, the only rule that I follow is not to post anything online which may be embarrassing, dangerous or too personal for me or my family.

Well, this is my take on sharing information and pictures online, and the thought process behind it.

What are your thoughts?

Here are some articles on the topic:

Article 1

Article 2

Article 3

Reema Sahay is a Stay-At-Home-Mom, Freelance Writer, Voracious Reader, Passionate Blogger, Social Media Enthusiast, Internet Junkie and Ex-Marketing Communication Professional. She spends her days running after her very curious toddler, ‘the star’, and catching up on books when he naps. She writes about charms and challenges of life at Pen Paper and shares her passion for books at Recommend Books. She sometimes feels that her 5.5 years stint in Marketing Communication was in another life.

  • I think if you put enough ,actually little lesser than that,brains , one can easily find most information about me online combining my blog and the 2 social networking sites I am on.. Sigh! I try to control but thats one way to communicate with far off people easily esp when we are all in different continents..
    I understand the dangers but as many many other dangers I am exposed to each day, I brush the internet dangers aside too!

    • I am glad it is an informed decision because many people don’t even think about the pitfalls. The point is we need to be aware of what we are doing and do whatever we are comfortable with.

  • I agree with your thoughts partially. Even I am quite choosy about FB friends and keep trimming my list . My personal pics are shared with chosen group of friends only.
    I started as mommy blogger who wanted to keep a journal of her kid’s anecdotes but later stopped posting her pics in my blog at all, just that only her antics.

    • I think that’s the right balance probably. I know how convenient it is to keep a journal of antics online because I have been doing it in the conventional way (diary) and it gets delayed and forgotten many times. Plus it is easier to cross link, add relevant pictures (may be without the face of the child clearly shown), etc.

  • I concur with you on many points.. FB friends really need to be chosen well and few things should be remembered and minded well on social media…

    • True that 🙂
      Internet is so convenient! Sometimes we can get carried away.

  • Yeah !! In today’s world where everyone has an opinion we have to take a moment to think about this. I get tired of updates like “Have ing breakfast with family” “Going to bed now, good night” and other such “status updates” !! Don’t even get me started about parents bombarding others with their kids fotos – including nappy changing and naked pictures of their kids !!

    • Ha ha ha yes exactly my point. Just how much is too much. Also, what bothers me is the issue of privacy.