Living Your Life Online

This is well worth a read: The High Cost of Living Your Life Online

‘We are social creatures, and our brains evolved to form communities, communicate with each other, and work together. We have not evolved to expose ourselves to the judgment of the whole world on a daily basis. These things affect everyone differently, but it’s clear many people regularly feel overwhelmed by this exposure level.” – Thor Benson

For some people, the use of online social media platforms is central to their daily activity and habit. For others not quite so much. For me, I share what I do, but keep a bit back as, well, it’s none of your business really. Each of us makes our own decision about what we share, whether it’s purely our professional lives, or a mix of personal & professional, or every little bit of our personal lives, building a network of followers who are in the same town, sport, etc.

For me, I started sharing my work. I made friends online and some I’ve never met but feel close to; we share a common passion

We clearly need to be more aware of how our activity, our sharing, our behaviour online, and the behaviour of those we have virtually (or indeed) no connection with affects us and those around us. Whilst those of us of a certain age may have worked out what we want from social media as the platforms have grown, there is a whole new generation growing up with it as a central focus of their lives – parents sharing their baby pics on Facebook, Instagram stars making everyday activity (getting a coffee, sitting on the beach, playing with a pet, etc) look far more exciting and ‘picture-perfect’ than it is in their own lives, etc. (example and example and example)

And that’s not even addressing the scams, doxxing, abuse, grooming, etc that happens. I may be careful about what I do and when, but how much does a 14-year-old boy or girl know? Do they think ‘it could be me’ or ‘it’ll never happen to me’?

In the UK we’ve been hearing recently about the journey Molly Russell had before her tragic death – read about the Molly Russell inquest here. Another tragedy in a long, and sadly growing, line in people who fall foul of just being online.

Living out our lives, loves, fantasies, fears, etc, online is not as exciting as it used to be. It’s starting to feel too much like real life and not the escape I hoped it would be.

Photo by Oleg Laptev on Unsplash