When Sharing Is Not Caring

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I have the habit of checking my phone as soon as I wake up. I'm not proud of it, but old habits die hard. The first thing that I saw on Facebook this morning was that someone on my timeline had added 169 photos to a album titled 'Trip with frndzzz'. I doubt if I have a total of 169 photos in all my albums put together. My first thought, who on earth has the time to upload so many pictures. And next, would people do the same if Facebook would charge them for uploading pictures? As much as I love social media and think it is a wonderful invention, it is turning out to be a bane these days. There are days when I look at my timeline and wonder if I actually know these people. There are people putting up all their photos that they can lay their hands on, online. Others are giving minute by minute detail of their holiday and many many others are screaming out opinions about issues that once mattered but no longer. I think that all of us on Facebook should only have read rights. If you want to write or share something, you need to pay for it. Maybe this will help curb the filth that is out there.

I've always been a woman who has her own opinion about many things. The place where I would discuss this would be my blog and not social media. I have seen people write paragraphs about what they think of a certain issue on Facebook. Some people who have a huge fan following, have their status liked and shared a million times. Some others have a couple of likes on the six paragraph status and soon both the statuses are forgotten. Initially, Facebook was all about connecting with people, old and new and sharing snippets of your life with them. Now it is all about showing off and trolling others. People have forgotten that they can take a flight to wherever they are going without checking in to the airport on Facebook or anywhere else. You can also travel abroad without putting up your day to day itinerary online. If one is a travel blogger, I think they should use their blog for that. Share a couple of pictures, no harm. But 169? Does one actually think that people have the time to go through all of that?

One topic that I am tired of reading about is depression and mental health awareness. I know the more it is spoken about, the better. I honestly wouldn't mind different articles being written about the issue. But I see people post their same status and experiences year after year talking about the ordeal they had to go through. I have immense respect for people who have survived it, but does one have to talk about it again and again? There was a time when all the posts on my timeline were related to depression alone. While most people comment "So proud of you for surviving it" and similar comments, there are others who silently call such people attention seekers. Is it called for? I know that depression is a personal issue, and I am not saying that it should not be spoken about. But not always and not on every platform. Being a depression survivor should not be the sole USP for anyone. It is a good thing to talk about ones experience, but there are a hundred others out there who are happy that you have gone through it. Sharing is not always caring in the world of social media.

Kareena Kapoor Khan gave birth to her son Taimur Ali Khan Pataudi yesterday and the Internet lost it. The number of tweets and statuses I read about this goes on to show how jobless some people are. I agree it is not the best of names, but as parents it is their choice on what they want to name their child. Why does anyone else want to have a say in it? Celebrities do not have it easy on social media. I follow a handful of them on Instagram and the comments that people leave on their photos are cringe worthy. "Pull your top up and show me your stuff", "Such a slut, will you sleep with me?", "You are fat and ugly", "Post a nude picture of yours"; these are a few comments I have seen on the photos of a top model/dancer I follow on Instagram. I don't know how famous people handle such things. It is offensive to say the least. Just because one is allowed to express their opinions on social media, doesn't mean that one can say/share anything. Somewhere a line needs to be drawn.

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Now coming to the point of sharing. How much is too much when it comes to sharing personal details on Facebook and other platforms? Earlier I used to change my profile pictures pretty often and upload a few photos to albums too. But once, I saw my photographs being shared elsewhere. I removed all my albums and stuck with a profile picture alone. While there are a lot of people around who resort to malicious acts, I think the person who puts up the photograph should take some blame too. Once you put out anything on social media, you don't own it anymore. People will dissect it, criticize it or share it. You need to be prepared for all of it. Want to avoid it? Then avoid putting up things on social media.

I have heard people cry about how much people share on social media. And they choose to voice their opinion about it on social media! I think it is a personal choice to put out anything and bear the brunt of it later. I know of genuine people who put up witty and brilliant statues and tweets. Such words are a treat to sore eyes. Then there are others who write paragraphs about some personal matter of theirs. While some of them might be genuine, most of them do it for the attention. A friend of mine one put up a status on Facebook about how her husband was abusing her and asking her parents for more dowry. All her friends and I expressed our concerns over it and asked her to leave him or reach out to someone for help. Roughly around nine months later, she put up a status saying that she had delivered a baby girl and was in the happiest phase of her life. What does one have to say to this?

Social media is turning out to be a dangerous weapon. Something that can take you to crazy highs and bring you back to dangerous lows. I think this is an area one should carefully tread upon. Like I said before, when it comes to social media, sharing is not always caring.

34 comments:

  1. I am slowly moving away from SM, Soumya. (SM sounds ominous no? So much like S&M) Social media may have its advantages but as you said, when people lose sight of why they got there in the first place, it is annoying. Seriously, who wants to have a minute by minute account of what's happening with someone else's life?

    My pet creepout is that friend request immediately followed by "so and so wants you to like their page" without ever connecting!

    Oh enough! I stand up and say Amen to your post. From my heart to yours ♥

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    1. S&M? Hahahhaa :D

      Oh that page liking bit psyches me out. I immediately unfriend such people.

      Thank you my dear Vidya. You know I love you <3

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  2. I agree with that and how we feel it our personal battle when someone goes through shit which turns into bliss. Makes me wonder what we have to say about it. The hatred against Kareena shows how much hatred can fill social media. I have been out of FB for 2 months and so out of touch, dunno what people are doing. Thanks for updating me on the hot and happening things on FB!

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    1. Out of FB for 2 months? Why on earth did you even come back?

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  3. I couldn't agree more. I am slowly drifting away and it's much better. 169 pictures is hilarious. I don't have that many together for a year. Coming to checking in - imagine how people check in without even saying a work. That's most stupid. Like Parul checked in to Mamagoto. So? Why should Soumya care? :P Atleast say a word, if not a sentence. :D
    Excess of anything is bad and so is FB.

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    1. Hahaha say a word. That might make it less creepy :P

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  4. I have a few friends on Facebook who add innumerable photos of every place that they visit and I swear it's so annoying to see the same thing on news feed. I have a few fb friends who create albums over albums of their kids every single day which is the most anniying. I am addicted to social media too but I spend most of my time reading stuff but yes I too feel that I am getting too much information about people's life on Facebook. I had resorted to Instagram to share my pics but off late every xyz I know is on Instagram to simply stalk others who are active and it has made me conscious of what I share.

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    1. Ah kids is something else altogether. It is almost a compulsion that every new parent have to put a picture of their child as their profile and cover photo. Totally psyches me out!

      Yes, Insta too is turning out to be really crowded.

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  5. I have friends who are dying of attention. There's a status every half an hour and a new profile picture every alternate day.

    Some of them message me only when they need reviews for their books or votes for a competition. Everybody can sense it. When people are literally begging for attention.

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    1. Totally! I'd reply right back on their face that I'm not interested.

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  6. Very relevant post. I have been asked N number of times 'why on earth, don't you have a FB account. My husband was blamed for not letting me start one. Seriously?? Is it mandatory to have an FB account. When I started my FB page as a writer everyone was like okay, so that's it.

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    1. You don't have an FB account? I bow down to you with respect.

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  7. Social media has definitely lost its purpose these days. Even when the fact shouldn't be ignored that it has benefits, it has slowly become a menace . Many trivial issues are taken up with exaggerated vigour which leads to meaningless conversations and debates. It gives me a headache at times.

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    1. Nothing like the exaggeration of trivial issues to crowd social media. Headache? It makes me want to kill myself at times.

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  8. What to say.. I myself have faltered sometimes, I feel. I am with you with pay and post idea. That will probably put some reins on the content. About depression thing, 100% agree. I have recently gone through something and am sharing the details about it lately to create awareness just like I did once upon a time about an ugly experience a teacher gave me in school but do I want to hang around with it forever? No. I don't want to be its victim always. Its better to surround life with more and more positive stuff. Facebook has become more of a street thing now. Anyone and everyone is here and most of them have no idea about the dangers of internet world.

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    1. Facebook definitely is something very silly these days. Anyone with a computer has an account and they are hell bent upon psyching everyone out. Believe me I almost slipped into depression after seeing all those posts. Totally ruined my mindset for a few days.

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  9. Oh Sowmya! I was nodding my head to all that you wrote here. I think FB has lost its sheen for me. The crazy long updates, the hammering of views and the incessant holiday pictures. All those check-ins that seem to be accompanied by no explanation. Every minute of their lives documented. And what gets my goat the most is baby pictures. Please, please don't share them with everyone.

    Why do people put so much of themselves out there? The permanent drama queens too! Always a victim, cribbing over every minute thing. Sigh! If there is one thing l want to do, it is to really move away from SM. Just interact minimally and superficially. Hope l can reach there soon.

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    1. Baby pictures? Aargh, I can scream out loud here.

      FB has definitely lost its sheen and has become something dangerously stupid. I hope I get the strength to deactivate my account one day.

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  10. I completely agree with all you have said here.
    In the era of social media people behave as if their private lives are desperate to go public. The eagerness to share the minutest of details, posting pictures before caring to revel in the moment, going overboard with Photoshopping pictures before sharing on social media and worst of all trolling others just for fun or to seek attention make me cringe more often that I'd like to care for social media.

    You've raised some valid concerns that I believe deserved to be talked about openly. Indeed, we need to learn to care before we jump to share.

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    1. Everyone feels like a celebrity on FB. With 1000 pictures and enough statuses everyone has a desperate need to be heard.

      We need to curb the need to share. More so on social media.

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  11. Very relevant points you make here. I used to like Facebook for the connection with friends, seeing some photographs and snippets from their life. It's now like a rabid soapbox or a 24X7 reality TV show, and it's quite annoying!

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    1. You couldn't have said it any better.

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  12. Nail on the head, as post, as always Sowmya. I was nodding my head all along. I'm generally silent on FB too for the same reasons that you've so clearly put across. On a lighter note, my 3G never works when I'm travelling or in a movie theater, so even if I want to, I cannot post real-time pics or check-in statuses ;-)

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    1. Aha that's a smart idea. I'll probably switch to 2G to stop getting updates now.

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  13. I have a friend in my FB list who shares too many pictures, every trip, weekend outing all are shared in 100s of photos. I just don't spend my time clicking on those repetitive stuff. FB used to be a connecting bridge for me. But now it has turned into a news stop delivering opinions from every man/woman who has an account. I don't trust the news appearing on Social Media. For that there is new paper. And people going all crazy about a newborn's name, is beyond pathetic. Well said, Soumya.

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    1. FB is no longer a connecting bridge. It is now more of a comparative bridge.

      Thanks Vinitha.

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  14. This is a dangerous topic for me to say anything on ;)
    But, yes. I think people should sometimes realise (much like on blogs) that the space is to interact and put up updates that may benefit others too - and oversharing and over analysing is not warranted. And no, you don't need to document every minute of your life there.

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    1. Who else but you will know how much I hate this? :D

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  15. Totally agree with you. These days it's more of show off and attention seeking then sharing. I also used to post photographs from my travel but had stopped doing so from last 2 years becoz of obvious reasons :-)
    On one irritated afternoon I wrote this for fun - https://mysimplesojourn.wordpress.com/2016/07/29/just-for-fun/

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  16. I was nodding while reading every word of the post. I wrote a post along the same lines long back. It is actually annoying what all people put on Facebook. I was so annoyed that I deactivated my account for a long time. :) Though I am back again but I have stopped sharing anything.

    Some people actually treat Facebook as their personal diary which is in fact public. Sigh!

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    1. I need the courage to deactivate my account soon. Personal diary, oh yeah you bet.

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  17. Couldn't agree more! Very relevant post. I'm not on Facebook (just a page) and Instagram, but I like Twitter. I don't prefer sharing personal details or even pictures.

    Some people express their annoyance at overuse of social media by posting 20 back to back tweets. Two things that irritate me are periods and babybumps posts. Periods and pregnancy (and working during pregnancy) are normal phases of life. We don't need to shout and tell, 'Hey! This is normal!'

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    1. Hahaha nothing like dissing social media on social media. Morons!

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