Carson Bonner, Campus Carrier news editor
We’ve gotten too comfortable, too vocal and too loud on the internet. We see influencers who don’t understand the concept of oversharing and politicians tweeting their every thought, whether or not it’s actually true, and we accept this as an everyday practice that is to be mimicked and followed. So we share. And we share some more. And sometimes, when we’re bored, when we’re mindlessly scrolling through TikTok, we share.
The internet has a chronic illness of misinformation. The cycle of posting something untrue or exaggerated, someone seeing and reposting it, and then it going viral is something that happens hundreds of times a day. We see it when it comes to global conflicts, but even makeup reviews, celebrity gossip and political slander are common problems.
For example, MAC, a massive makeup empire, had a lip product go viral last month called the MAC Squirt Plumping Gloss Stick. Almost immediately, product reviews from beauty influencers caused ratings to plummet as influencer after influencer tested the gloss, complaining loudly and dramatically about it breaking and going all over their mouths. However, one smaller, less known beauty influencer tested it with zero problem, revealing that the product was not the problem, the consumers were. Influencers have been given too much credibility, solely because of their ability to be loud.
On average, 34 million TikToks are posted a day. 84% of people post personal information to their social media accounts in a week, according to New Digital Age (NDA), with 42% of people posting every single day. That oversharing of information not only gives people a personal glimpse into one’s life, but also gives hackers the ability to glean information from someone. According to the NDA, 63% of cybercriminals use social media to gain information on potential victims, drawing from the constant stream of consciousness posted online. When we overshare, we put ourselves at risk.
To be honest, oversharing online is just annoying. Most people don’t care that you got a croissant from Starbucks and made a “life hack” by putting it in your coffee, then went to Target, then later you went and got a COVID-19 test at CVS. We went from keeping locked diaries in elementary school to opening those diaries for the internet to read. Every detail of our lives are made public for scrutiny, yet when we receive criticism, we are shocked and hurt that the millions of spectators we’ve invited to view our lives don’t agree with us, praise us or idolize us.
Parasocial relationships, the relationships between creators of any kind and their fans, become unhealthy as viewers delude themselves into thinking a creator is their friend and obsess over finding the next video, the next post or the next podcast. In a society that once valued privacy, oversharing has become the most common trend. And hopefully, that’s all it is. A trend. Trends come and go. However, the internet is forever.
Several days ago, an Israeli creator named Miryam Segal posted a TikTok of her spinning and dancing in her room with text reading “The feeling that will be after we beat Gaza and have Disneyland, [Sephora,] Starbucks place and hotels with water park.” She has since deleted the video but this demonstration of insensitivity and disdain has continued to circle the internet. Given the millions of views her video received before she deleted it, it will likely be what she is known for. Her reputation is now ruined based on her inability to filter herself online.
As our comfort on the internet increases, our ability to filter what we share decreases. We as a society are so desensitized to the feelings of others that sometimes all we think about are the reactions we can get based on our own content and our own feelings. We’ve grown too comfortable oversharing and we need to find our sense of privacy again.