With the advent of social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, among many others… It would not come as much surprise if there comes a day that the very public nature of status updates may start wars.

As much as it can be argued that free press and journalism can be controversial by nature, public social networking and status updates take it to a whole other level of complicated and/or controversial.

To be able to connect more with others via social networking certainly empowers us, however it also tends to embolden us to tend to  think that every other thought we have might be relevant enough to share on cyberspace, which is really mostly not the case.

There are people who are extroverted enough to not mind sharing various aspects of their life with the many via status updates and uploading photos and there are some who balk at the idea, it is at the crosshairs of this penchant for a more public or private cyberspace presence that complications may arise.

Updating one’s status is not a group conversation… in many ways, it has a performer-audience feel to it and there then arises much room for misunderstanding and judgement without the opportunity to clarify to defend one’s position.

As much as one may be comfortable enough within one’s skin to share facets of one’s life with others, it may not be the case with one’s friend who, for reasons entirely their own, might not want other people to know what they discussed nor where they went and what they did.

It is not simply a case of the more private person having something to hide, but perhaps it is just a matter of preference that personal interactions need not be displayed for the public or at least, many, to witness.

This topic then encroaches upon netiquette and there would undoubtedly me as many debates on this as there are daily status updates. However, it might pay to be aware of one’s friend’s threshold of being included, tagged, or referred to in one’s status updates.

It can be surmised though that people who updates their status updates regularly, publicly, and openly have a more extroverted and trusting temperament and might view the world as a safe place for their personal thoughts, information, and ideas to roam freely.

On the other end of the pole, people who deactivate their Wall on Facebook to prevent random and unsolicited posts on them view the world in another manner and it might be that they prefer to keep to themselves and avoid further gossip, entanglements, or complications, and/or that they go by the saying, “Less talk, less mistake.”

As much as that we may all agree to differ, and as much as the right for free speech exists, we must duly remember to consider whether or not our friends, colleagues and loved ones have the same inclination for having a more public internet and/or social networking presence before we casually include them in our posts or status updates.

Applying this much overlooked but necessary courtesy would indeed result in more harmonious relationships, and thereby, via a giant leap, might make the world a better place.

(c) Niconica 2011*

*does not include the images

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