Tuesday, May 21, 2013

USA Today - Social Media Makes It Easy to Share and Overshare Alike

Last night I was having trouble sleeping, so I pulled out my smartphone and did some Internet Research, then decided to search on my name to see what information would come up in a Google Search.

To my surprise, and excitement, I found an article authored by Kevin Shelly of Courier-Post, published in USA Today, with my name mentioned throughout the article. Here is the story behind how this happened.

In April 2013, I was giving presentations on "Protecting Our Children Online" and "Internet Safety & Digital Leadership" to local groups and organizations in Prince Edward Island, Canada as a Keynote Speaker at Annual General Meetings. During that time, I was tweeting, facebooking and blogging about the hazards of oversharing.  In a series of tweets, I shared that key management and decision makers avoid people who are negative online, bashing other people, companies, brands, politicians, etc., because they view these people as unstable and if they get disgruntled they'll take it to the social web versus other means ... so in other words, there's a total lack of trust and credibility in people who negatively overshare, challenge others, and complain on social media.  

This led to Kevin Shelly tweeting me (@kcshlly), asking if I would do an email interview because he was writing an article on oversharing.  I said yes, I would be happy to help and saw it as a good opportunity to share our message of Digital Leadership and Protecting Your Online Footprint.  I had absolutely no idea Kevin was writing the article for USA Today.  I answered the questions, added a few of the key findings of the research work I have been doing with East Prince Women's Information Centre, sent it off, and that was it.

Last night, I Googled my name, and found the USA Today Article and thought 'That's Pretty Cool'.  I then noticed the article is published on a few other news websites.  I honestly had no idea Kevin was writing the article for USA Today, however, I am happy that the message we have been sharing locally here in Prince Edward Island Canada, is now all over the social web .... Thank You Lord!

Below is the full article. To view it on USA Today: 
Social Media Makes It Easy To Share and Overshare Alike

Social media makes it easy to share and overshare alike
The good news with social media: It's easy to share.

Want proof? Google the word overshare. Check #overshare on Twitter.   

There's horror story after horror story. Maybe not Anthony Weiner of Weinergate fame bad, but bad.

Here are a few examples straight from Twitter's #overshare feed:
--"I lack any sense of forethought, higher-level reasoning skills or dignity. So I'm a big hit at parties. Add me!"
-- It's really not necessary to tell me you had a stomachache then follow it up with, "I was in the bathroom for a while."

Then there was this exchange:
"I feel bad for all my non-followers; you are missing out on reading my hilarious, embarrassing, and emotionally intense tweets."

Followed immediately by:
"had to unfollow due to your non-funny, embarrassing, and emotionally intense tweets."
Sometimes it isn't what is said, it's the sheer volume. In fact, FourSquare has created an overshare badge for users who "check in" — obsessively telling the world where they are — 10 or more times in a 12-hour period.

Frankly, unless you are one of George Clooney's ex-girlfriends, I don't care where you've just checked in, let alone that you have done so repeatedly. Hmm, I seem to have overshared here — and that's the point.

We all know someone who overshares. Sometimes it is us.

For instance, I have a relative who posted nearly 1,000 words, filled with intimate details of another relative's illness, in three Facebook status updates.

The three posts attracted more than 100 comments.

I was aghast, but held my tongue, trying to keep in mind that sooner or later, we all overshare.
Me included.

Stuck at home for two days while sick — never mind exactly how — I recently posted multiple times on Facebook out of utter boredom. I probably didn't go over the edge in terms of content, but the volume was certainly near the tipping point.

Someone I know posted numerous glazed-eye pictures, generally with a glass in hand. The person wrote things such as "marinate me in sauvignon blanc" as a status update. Let's just say this didn't help their case later — in court.

Nancy Beth Guptill -- who does marketing for Sweetspot Marketing in Prince Edward Island, Canada, advises social service agencies, and posts on the dangers of oversharing -- says businesses routinely monitor social network postings and checkout online profiles.

"Anybody can paint a really good picture of themselves in a resume and company portfolio — however — how they behave online gives insight into who they really are," she said.

"People who overshare, badmouth others, including companies, brands and complaining about customer service, are deemed untrustworthy. Also, from a cyber bullying point of view, people who overshare, that information often gets used against them by others wanting to hurt and harm them, plus predators seek out emotionally insecure people," said Guptill.

Guptill has some general pointers about things to keep in mind:
-- Postings are permanent.
-- "Secure" sites aren't secure.
-- Internet postings can carry more weight than a resume.
-- Your postings become your brand, including interactions with others.
-- People and organizations will "creep" your postings to learn about applicants, looking for insights regarding values and character.

Worrisome content includes:
-- Provocative photos and information.
-- Drugs and alcohol.
-- Badmouthing and rudeness.
-- Poor communications skills.
-- Gossip, complaining, discriminatory comments.
-- Sharing too much confidential information about self and others.

Guptill's final tip: Think before you post.

I have a tip of my own: Unfollow or unfriend folks who routinely overdo it. Don't announce to the world or the "friend" that you have done so. Simply move on.
Doing otherwise is, well, oversharing.

Author: Nancy Beth Guptill
Founder of Sweet Spot Marketing Canada
Digital Marketing &  Social Media Training Consultant
Twitter: @SweetMarketing
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SweetMarketing

About Nancy Beth:   Nancy Beth is an Entrepreneur & Small Business Owner, Founder of Sweet Spot Marketing Canada and a Motivational Speaker for Women & Girl Leadership.   As an Internet and Digital Marketing veteran, Nancy Beth has vast experience in Internet Marketing, Social MEdia Marketing, Online Safety and Protecting Your Digital Foot Print.   Since 2010, Nancy Beth has been highly sought after to share her message on being a Digital Leader, using the Internet & Social Media for good, and how to safely navigate the Social Web.