March 11, 2013

Remember When Privacy Was More Than Just A Setting?

Something weird happened over the weekend.

Well, nothing in particular happened over the weekend, but all of a sudden I became really aware and cautious about how much personal information I broadcast over the internet.

Let's get real - we have personal information shared on the interwebs whether we want it to be shared or not. Google your name ... heck, Google your grandmothers name, and I can 99.9% guarantee that something pops up.

It is called the World Wide Web for a reason. The second you publish something on your blog, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or whatever your social media vice may be - boom - it's sent off into cyberspace for anyone, anywhere to see.

And that, my friends, is all of a sudden deemed pretty damn creepy in my book.


There are a handful of people who I've crossed over the past 27 years of my existence who I wouldn't even enjoy sharing a "Hello" with - but here I am, sharing my life on my blog, 140 character thoughts on my Twitter, and too many photos of Brutus on my Instagram.

And for some reason, all of a sudden, I'm just not totally comfortable with everyone in the whole entire world having that all access pass.

What ever happened to Stranger Danger, people?!

Sharing our lives via social media has become as much a part of life, as life itself ... and I honestly think that's pretty sad.


It's actually embarrassing how many times I've held off on eating dinner because my plate needed to have it's Glamour Shots taken first. I'm guilty, I admit it.

I think social media and the many technological advancements that have happened over the past twenty years are amazing - don't get me wrong! - but that's not the point of this blog post.

Over the weekend I considered making all of my social media profiles private, and monitoring who has access to see what I'm publishing ... but then I realized that privacy is so much more than a setting. It's up to me to decide what I make public and what I keep private.


I've realized that I don't need to share every itty bitty tidbit of my life anymore just because I write a blog and I want to pretend that my life is actually interesting ;) ... Emily from Cupcakes and Cashmere, for example, hardly ever shares any personal information about herself, and her blog is more popular than this little space by tenfolds.

Hot damn, I think I grew up??

What are your thoughts on social media sharing/oversharing?
Are your social media profiles public or private? Why?

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22 comments

  1. I think a lot about this too sometimes... I feel like i judge myself differently based on what others put on social media and it becomes a vicious cycle.. So i try to limit my time particularly on fb! i get so easily offended sometimes!

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  2. It's when you meet someone in town and before you've introduced yourself they are like "Oh hi You're Hannah, I read your blog" ......okay, yeah erm so hi erm eek!

    The funniest one was in an a restaurant - I'd about how the service was rubbish (it ended on my blog because their feedback form was character limited!) the regional manager had dealt with it and the duty manager then served our table for our meal to prove that they were fab really.

    The duty manager had already read not just the ranty post but other posts too! And when it came to dessert and I couldn't decide she was like "Well if you have that one and I'll see if I can sneak you a little bit of the other" I'm sure she had permission being the duty manager and all but it was quite funny all the same lol.

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  3. I think it's just a generational acceptance that has happened. I always think about people posting their children's personal lives online, not only photos, but moments and advice soliciting. Could that be embarrassing when they're older? I don't so much mind my life online, especially because I think everything through before, but I try and be really cautious of others around me when they may be included in the blog or other social media updates.

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  4. When I first started my blog, almost 3-years ago, I was super aware and scared of sharing too much about myself and feared weirdos would find me. I've gotten less fearful the last year or so, and I've started using my blog a lot more and it has worked to connect with a lot more people. I obviously don't share EVERYTHING. I decided to no longer put the actual town I live in, though I'm sure for some it may be easy to guess. But it's better for me anyway. You just have to do what you're comfortable with ;)
    Have a great day!
    xoxo- Kaara
    http://inthekitchwithkaara.blogspot.com

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  5. I have been having similar fears lately ... My FB is private in that you need to be my friend to see ANYTHING (but I've had it that way for years). My Twitter is public (I had it private/protected for like a week and switched back to public) my Instagram was public from the beginning but I recently made that private. I still struggle with what to share and what not to share ... but at the end of the day I just make sure I'm comfortable with what I'm putting out there and then whatever will be will be. There are somethings I know already for sure: When I have children their pictures WILL NOT be put on my blog, too many safety risks in my opinion there. But, to each his own, ya know?

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  6. this is such an interesting post,and an Eye opener! You are so right, we must be careful with what we share, I have never had a bad experience, actually I met my husband on the internet, but you never know.
    Thank You

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  7. OOH good post. EVERYTHING I have is public. Granted, I don't instagram my life to the high horses, but I still do post on there. It's so interesting how our lives are like the Truman Show. It's a 24/7 broadcast. It's embarrassing. I've contemplated backing off SO MANY TIMES. But where's the balance? I love that you shared Emily's link. She shares her 5-things posts, but yea... nothing more personal than that. We never see her husband, we never see her day-to-day... it's just cool, I guess. I've been trying to figure out how to balance it... but man, in the end I just kind of want to throw in the towel. I never usually tell anyone that... but here I am, again, posting it for all to see. Oh well. I know you won't judge.

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  8. I try to be cautious when I post. Keep certain details private on my Blog, private IG, private twitter. There's definitely some creeps out there!

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  9. I think about this a lot! I feel like I can be a "private person" in real life and I don't share much with anyone unless they're very close to me. BUT, when it comes to my blog and social media, it feels different, I guess??

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  10. I really wish blogspot was more like xanga and livejournal where if anyone has the link they cant see what's on your page b/c all b/c you have it protected and all due to privacy. blogspot if anyone has the link they can read your blog and get your inner most thoughts and that to me is scary. as for my twitter and facebook page it's private. i'm not sure how to make photobucket or pinterest private so if you know how. please share. is there a way to make it where you blog doesnt show up online i think i have mine set to that but not sure. it's bs how all your info can go online. heck you can type your own name and state and city online and get your phone number. surprised you cant get cell phone numbers online. it is scary and now a days it shouldnt be able to have all your info online.

    I mean just think of all the weirdos and on things folks wonder why i put small town or middle of nowhere.

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  11. I think about this a lot too! There are so many bloggers who share so much - town they live in, last name, job, etc. I'm a little guilty of some of this and every once in a while I get really nervous about it. So far I haven't had any problems. Good to know I could make everything private very quickly if I needed to! But it is a good reminder to think about what you are sharing!

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  12. So my Instagram is private now... I was starting to get weird followers posting all kinds of spammy comments, so I changed it to private. Granted, I still share certain ones to Facebook and Twitter anyway... But some things just weird you out, right!?! Did you see the whole mess with the girl that stole my Scentsy website photo and was using it on Facebook?? Anyone can Google you and get all kinds of information. Like you said, it's just important to be careful what you share!

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  13. Great post. I don't mind people over sharing on their blogs as reading about everyones unique life and perspectives is so enlightening. But I do think people might get a little carried away on facebook, instagram and twitter. Sometimes I struggle with the whole privacy thing, as the idea of anyone being able to read my blog felt weird at first, plus sometimes people read more into it or misinterpret things. So I write whatever I feel on the blog, but keep the real personal info private and put a watermark in front of personal photos with people, especially kids now. The mtv show Catfish freaked me out a little as it's amazing how many people find random photos of others online and not only use them but pretend to be them. Watch the show sometime you will see what I mean. But I think your right it's up to us to control how much we share and decide to keep private.

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  14. Oh I had the SAME moment this weekend I was laying in bed and realized my real, full name was all over the web. Panic immediately followed... lol

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  15. Great post, I think everyone thinks about this at one point or another.

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  16. Recently this has been on my mind and I have been whether or not I want to continue blogging because of this. I really want to, but I feel so strange when I share pieces of my personal life and sometimes it scares me...hmppfh.

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  17. This is so true Kymmy, and always on my mind. I try my best to keep things private - my address and personal information - even choosing to use my family's initials rather than names. But somethings are definitely out there for the world to see... My Facebook and Instagram profiles remain private though! x

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  18. I know this sounds ridiculous but I try to only share (IG, Twitter) things that aren't really important. Random pictures of things or thoughts. I try to keep names of friends and family private. It's just me to protect but still, I think we've absolutely become a culture acceptable over oversharing and then we get freaked out when someone knows more than we think they should.

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  19. I'm totally torn on the whole topic of how much to share. On the one hand, it's weird knowing that so many strangers can have intimate details of my life, but on the other hand, I hate reading blogs where the blogger is super vague about their personal life. I like getting to know the blogger behind the blog, and I feel like you can't do that if you aren't sharing some personal details. However, I never check in places while I'm actually there, and I don't share details like my last name, so for now, I'm good with what I share. Who knows though. The privacy issue is a slippery slope.

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  20. I JUST had this same conversation with my husband this weekend. I definitely tend towards the totally trusting, nothing's going to happen side, which then worries me a bit that I am trusting things that really shouldn't be. I think that basically our info is out there whether we want it to be or not, and most of the details I give on my blog are pictures and stories that really don't make it easier to find me. (Though, of course, it makes people WANT to find me ;) joking.) So I hope I don't get taught a lesson the hard way here.. And great point that we are who controls what goes out there!

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  21. All of my social media... FB, Twitter, Instagram are private for the exact reason that I want to be able to control who reads my post. My blog however is public. I don't want to make it private because I enjoy meeting new people. However, I don't really "advertise" it to new people... and I am actually more "afraid" of people finding my blog that I don't want to read my stuff than strangers.

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  22. I definitely am looking for ways to tighten up ship but not overly to the point of not being able to meet new people..

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