Imagine you’ve just had an argument with your partner. You’re hurt and embarrassed and call up a pal to vent. Then imagine that she in turn gathers hundreds of other friends, acquaintances and even strangers, and tells them what happened too, and how you’re feeling about the whole thing.
You’d be angry, right? Shocked that everyone knows your business, maybe. Worried they’d make judgements about your relationship. You’d feel your privacy had been invaded.
But if you’re a fan of social media – and use it to shout about every aspect of your life, good and bad – that’s exactly what happens every time you post something. Sure, your close pals can see it, but what about all those other Facebook friends or Twitter followers? The ones you only kinda, sorta know? Or don’t know at all? Social media might sometimes feel like it is private, but it is in fact the total opposite.
On the plus side though, at least you’re not revealing all of your relationship ups and downs to thousands or even millions of strangers, as Chris Brown did over the weekend. The R n’ B star has been going out with model Karrueche Tran for five years, with lots of bumps in the road along the way. However Chris really sparked drama recently when he dissed Karrueche to his 6.5 million Instagram followers, accusing her of dating rapper Drake while Chris spent four months in prison.
Karrueche publicly retaliated – to just 2.5 million followers this time – saying, “I refuse to be repeatedly mistreated by someone that claims to love me. That's not love. And if that's what you define as love then I don't want it.”
Rather than call his girlfriend up or visit her at home, Chris’ apology again came via social media. ""Being young and dumb is one of my strong suits and emotional at best. I love hard and react impulsively when I'm hurt at times. I don't think social media is a place to air out or hash out personal problems and a n**** feel hella WACK for doing it," he wrote.
It’s understandable that when we are angry, or feeling guilty, or sad, we might want to tell someone about how we are feeling. But by venting on social media, all we are doing is inviting others into the most private parts of our lives. Sure, you might get some extra sympathy, but from who? That random acquaintance who knows nothing about your relationship? That girl who really doesn’t care about what happens but just wants to be part of the gossip?
We are so stringent about keeping certain elements of our lives private, but not others. Every time Facebook changes their policy there is uproar about what we do and do not have ownership of, and yet we are more than willing to share our feelings, our opinions and even what we’re eating for dinner with hundreds if not thousands of people.
Social media is just that – social. Next time you are considering sharing something online, ask yourself if you’d be happy to share that same information with each and every one of your followers if you met them in person. If not, then keep it to yourself.