Categorized | Perspectives

Internet Addiction: Are We Sharing Too Much?

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It seems as though the golden rule in the past was to be private; not to share too much or say too much. There was an air of mystery about it. Now, we are living in a world that’s interconnected, where we can see everyone’s thoughts on twitter, share pictures from a crazy night out hours afterward on facebook and find almost everything about somebody with the click of a google search button.

It may sound cool, and sure almost everyone is addicted to twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. When people are hanging out with friends in the dorms, drinking coffees in jazzman’s or sitting in classes their wide eyes are glued to their smartphones, sharing their bright ideas on these creative apps.

Are people sharing too much?

Social media is a double-edged sword. It is an exciting, colorful way of expression and a means for people to stay connected and engage in conversation. Checking for updates is also a relaxing break in the day, lazily scrolling through new tweets and pictures…just be careful not to procrastinate too much on these outlets.

Still, there are very real dangers other than wasting some time, which college students do not seem to have enough of. Students hope to graduate, land a dream job and do something extraordinary in the world. Interviews are essential; students need to be witty, confident and polite, have an excellent resume, references, a polished portfolio and a power outfit, but their first impression precedes them before they even reach the intimidating office door.

Companies can find almost anything about a person through social media and the internet. No, they did not need to hire a detective or pay for a background check. Twitter , facebook, and other outlets, the ones that students cannot live without, could make or break an interview.  Funny or entertaining tweets or pictures that friends liked and favorited could be fatal for a job search.

As the internet has changed the way that people socialize, it has altered many other ways of life. Online shopping is fast, easy, and fun; who doesn’t love ordering a pair of shoes without leaving the room, and the anticipation of receiving the shiny box in the mail? However, consumers are sharing their credit card information, name and addresses online.

Remember the days when parents warned children not to share information online? It seemed like a cardinal rule, to not give out personal information.

Now people are trusting of the internet. Where would we be without it? Yet people forget the dangers of sharing vital information. It feels like second nature.

This information could be hacked and the moment of buying some new clothes or electronics could be an incident of identity theft with serious repercussions.

Another way to socialize is through meeting people online. Television is flooded by EHarmony and Christian Mingle commercials. Meeting people online has become more socially accepted, but the idea of meeting someone that you do not know who already has a lot of information about you seems like the plot of a Lifetime network movie thriller. It can be dangerous to meet someone new, yet again, people trust in the internet culture and become desensitized.

MTV has popularized the trials of online dating in the show “Catfish.” People talk online and hope to meet up in person, and when they do, (surprise) the people are not who they say they are.

What is fodder for an entertaining reality show is reflective of today’s changing culture.

Increasingly popular among college students is the  “dating” app, Tinder, where users can talk to or meet with other people around the area. Yet the  users have access to pictures and can tell how many miles away someone is…which is a bit creepy. Catfish-like scenarios could play out with the app and users need to be careful.

The internet and technology make people’s lives easier. As dramatic as it sounds, it’s hard to remember how to survive without it. There is a plethora of tools which make networking and connecting in both careers and social life even better than before. However, just like an addiction, people are so caught up in their own little world, lured by the internet, that they can forget the side effects.

People need to use social media and the internet to be connected and keep up in the fast paced world, especially communication majors. Social media is an integral part of business and is a great way to socialize.  People need to be smart, take precautions, and be careful what they post and share and use common sense. Sharing everything is not always the best way to be.

Sometimes a little mystery never hurts.

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