I think it's human nature for people to want to share information about themselves. I remember back in the BBS days, on one I used to frequent, we had a little location section that we could fill in where we were hailing from. We all tended to change it daily and fill it in with the days events, witty quips, or song lyrics. Now we have Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, LinkedIn and on and on. These sites are fun, and they give us all the perfect venue to connect, share and entertain each other BUT I really believe there are lines that need to be drawn, and information that should not be shared.
Here are some examples of things not to post online:
- Details about your location or where you're heading. This boils down to a personal safety thing. Don't post your address or telephone number. Even a tweet that says you're heading out for a burger on 41st street invites people to show up there. Now chances are you aren't a celebrity and you don't have a stalker, but why risk it? If you feel you need to tell the world about your culinary adventures, perhaps do so when you're safe and recovering from your food coma at home.
- Compromising photographs of yourself and especially of other people. Think of how embarrassing it would be if your boss saw a picture of you passed out in a drunken stupor at a party. If you really don't care, at least don't assume your friends don't either. Ask permission before posting anything that might get somebody in trouble.
- TMI! Yes, there is such a thing as too much information. Nothing gets me to unfriend somebody on Facebook faster than when they link their Twitter account and update every five minutes. It's not that I don't care, or I don't want to know details of your day, but I don't need to know every waking detail. Even if your friends don't mind, they'll eventually just start to tune you out which defeats the purpose of sharing in the first place.
- How much you despise your job. If you want to keep your job, it's probably a bad idea to call your boss a douche bag on the Internet. I've heard stories of people even getting fired for posting too much information about their company online.
- Conversations that should be private. If you have something you need to say to somebody that may be personal or confrontational in nature, call them or write them an email. You may think you're really making a statement by calling somebody on their BS in front of the whole world, but you're actually just making the rest of us uncomfortable.