Here’s a scary fact to think about the next time you log into Facebook or Instagram – it could do everything from get you fired to land you in hot water with friends!
Researchers recently had 2,000 volunteers complete a questionnaire about their online habits, asking things like “How often do you post photos you regret?” and “How friendly are you with your online followers?”
The result? 1 out of 3 people admit they’re guilty of T-M-I online – that’s sharing too much information. Like posting racy Instagram photographs. One in ten said they’d been taken aside by their boss after complaining about work on the web. And over half report there are complete strangers following their every online status update and picture - who they wouldn't share any personal information with in person!
But experts warn that online oversharing can wreak havoc with your personal and professional life. For example, say you cancel on a friend so you can go on a last minute date only to later post a photo of yourself enjoying sushi and champagne – which everyone can see, including the friend you stood up!
Or, say you tweet “The salami breath idiot in the cube next to me is ruining my Friday” while forgetting that your coworker, Mr. Salami Breath follows you on Twitter!
So, why do we get a case of TMI online? Researchers say it’s because we’re seeking validation. When someone comments, likes, or retweets what we say, we get a jolt of feel good brain chemicals. So we do it again and again. And may get racier and riskier, just to get more likes and comments.
But experts say we need to beef up our privacy settings and weed out any random “friends.” If you wouldn’t share something with someone in real life – why share something with them online? And before you post a status or photo, if you have even a 1-percent inkling that it might be hurtful, racy or unprofessional – hit “delete.”