Paranoid Thoughts Everyone Has on Social Media
Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter… all of these tools keep us connected to the people we love and let us to express our thoughts to the world. But having such a public forum to display our entire lives can be daunting, too. Not everyone feels super comfortable with the lack of privacy. For example, I’D RATHER THE ENTIRE WORLD NOT SEE ME IN A BATHING SUIT — PLEASE TAKE THAT PHOTO DOWN, STEPHANIE. Here are some of the nervous thoughts everyone has when “putting it all out there” on social media:
Is that person’s vague post about me?
Your friend wrote a status update on Facebook that said, “I’m so over fake friends — you know who you are.” First of all, these types of statuses SHOULD BE BANNED COMPLETELY. Second of all, is it about you? I mean, you did say that you liked their new shoes when you definitely did not. You did talk a little about them behind their back, but doesn’t everyone do that? Maybe the statement wasn’t about you at all. Yeah! It’s probably referring to someone you don’t even know! BUT WHAT IF IT IS YOU? (Welcome to paranoid Facebooking in the 21st century.)
Is my mom going to see this?
Let’s be honest, you have two lives — one with your parents, and one with your friends. If your parents are on Facebook, Tumblr, and Snapchat, it becomes more and more difficult to keep these parts of your lives separate. YOU JUST WANT TO BE YOURSELF ONLINE! If only the internet had a “no parents” rule. *sigh*
No one is liking my post… I’ll just delete it.
You posted a selfie that you’re on the fence about. You can’t tell if it’s really cute or if it makes you look like an attention-seeking wannabe. It’s 5:02 PM, and you put it on Instagram. You wait. Then, it’s 5:07 PM and no one has favorited it. Maybe it was a terrible mistake to put it up. Maybe everyone is judging you for posting a selfie. MAYBE YOU’LL HAVE NO FRIENDS AND DIE ALONE BECAUSE YOU POSTED IT (just me?). You delete that post with a vengeance.
Will the things I post affect my future job prospects?
Most of the stuff you put online is an elaborate inside joke with your friends. You say ridiculous things and post hideous pictures in order to make those friends laugh. None of it is really intended for future employers. The thought that one day you could be applying for your dream job and your interviewer might have seen that Youtube video you made singing to your cat is… well… horrifying.
Can this person tell that I’m stalking them?
We’ve all all gone back waaaaaay too far back in people’s photos — sometimes you just want to get a better sense of someone’s life trajectory, ya know? Plus, it can be tempting when they are really, really ridiculously good-looking. But if you are an internet stalker, you will inevitably get that paranoid feeling that somehow they know you’re creeping. Crazy thoughts go through your head. “What if Facebook sends them a message that I’ve been looking at their page for an hour?” “What if I accidentally like an old post and it alerts them?” “What if I happen to mention their 2008 vacation next time I see them?” Yikes.