I have recently become friends with a lot of younger Millennials, older Gen-Zers, and those that inhabit the space in between.
As I have shared before I am very private. I like to keep me, my family, and my things to myself. So, whenever my newer acquaintances ask me if they can follow me on Instagram, Twitter, or Tik Tok I say no. I tell them I don’t use it that much or that I am not that interesting on the site because I know that when I give them that insight into my life it will be something that I can never give back.
They will now be able to “know” me, my people (my family and friends), and they will have a small window into what I consider most important. Through Social Media they will be able to occupy my space in a way that they never would have been able to before and in a way that I can’t control.
Over the past 10 years, social media has become more prevalent and widely used in society. We use it to connect with people from our past and our present and those around the world that we never would have had access to before. However, as people post more and more on their pages about their lives and their families we have also seen it used in very destructive ways. From the most minuscule issue of keeping tabs on a frenemy to bullying to complete character destruction.
Society has come to determine, both consciously or unconsciously, that the person that you see on social media is the person that owns and operates the same. They think that is real life – especially younger folks (read: Millennial or Gen-Z) and it is because of that that I keep mine very close and personal to me. It is a place that I don’t want to let everyone witness. Not because I am doing anything wrong there but because I want to be free to share my me with the people that I am getting to know in the time and space that I want to share.
As a journalist, I have a knack for finding people online. Even with just a first name and I face, if I am given enough time I can usually find their pages, comb them for details about their lives, and form a complete picture in my head about them. I have been able to pinpoint people’s whereabouts from backgrounds and hotel pools. I have found family members through obscure comments. I have been able to put together accurate job timelines and histories through location tags. All of this was intuitive to me. It was easy and it was interesting. It was even, sometimes fun. So, because I know that I can do that, and I have no malicious intent, I have shied away from giving out my information. I know that the assumptions someone makes about me, whether good or bad, are long lasting and will be used to paint a portrait of me and my life in their head and I am not interested in that.
Let me get to know you first.
How do you all deal with the gatekeeping of your private thoughts and ideas? Are you like me? Or do you even care who looks at your socials? Are you one of those people who are building an image for yourself online and want folks to see that you? Or do you think it’s not serious either way?