Welcome to the Social Media Party

 

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As stressed in the majority of my blogs this semester, social media is an extremely powerful tool that can be used in many ways. As social media continues to grow and become more evident in today’s world, it is beneficial that we learn how to be active and informed users of these social media sites. Over the course of the semester, we used social media to do different things such as live tweeting for different causes, created a Linked In account and reached out to our social media ninjas and gurus.Through our experience of being social media users, we see that there are different types of users of social media that include: observers, participants and influencers. They are all technically part of the social media world, but some are more beneficial than others.

We all have those few friends that have that Twitter account, but barely tweet from it. When you ask why they even have it, they say that they like seeing what other individuals say, but do not feel the need to post anything themselves. This is an example of user that is an observer. The observers occasionally favorite your tweets, but that is basically it. Being an observer on social media is not bad, but when you are an observer on social media, it shows that you are not a part of the community, and makes you seem standoffish. It’s comparable to being the person at the party who is drinking their wine cooler by themselves in the corner. So basically in today’s world, it is not beneficial or cool to be that person, especially when a social media gives you the tools to be able to speak your mind and throw in your opinions in on a topic. So, don’t be that person.

We also all have that one friend that tweets and posts images on Twitter and Instagram regularly. They are always active on their sites, favoring, liking, retweeting and so on on a daily basis. But, although they are active on their social media sites, they do not post anything with extreme substance, and tweet things that are on their mind, about boy troubles and so on. This user of social media is considered a participant. They are there active and engaged, but nothing that they do or say is really that important, or even relevant. If we go back to our party scenario, they are the girl who gets too drunk at the party after a couple of drinks, and tells everyone at the party (including the observer in the corner with her wine cooler) about her boy troubles, and how the boy she has been seeing won’t reply to any of her texts and Snapchats. (She even went as far as to DM him on Twitter…what was she thinking?!)

Last but not least, once we get past the wine cooler girl and the drunk boy crazy girl, we get to the host of the party. They are cool and collected, and always know what to do when someone spills alcohol on the brand new rug. Everyone always goes to their parties, because they love the people because they are great. Because so many people respect them, when they post on their social media sites (which they do regularly) they are always getting responses on feedback, and also engaged in others tweets as well. These individuals are the influencers of social media. What they have done in the past or what they are currently doing on social media and in their daily life is influential and inspiring for some. They have a large number of followers, because their followers benefit from what they do or say on their sites. They are considered social media gurus and ninjas, and go well beyond the definition of what it means to be a Trust Agent.

As described, there are a wide variety of different ways in which individuals use their social media sites. We have the observers, who stay out of everything but enjoy the content, the participants who are active but do not have much relevance, and influencers who are influential and inspiring to those who follow them. With that being said, which type of social media user would you like to be?

 

 

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Curate or Create? Why Not Some of Both?

As a communication studies major and a typical twenty year old, I use social media on a daily basis. I use a wide variety of social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. Creating and curating are two different types of how social media users post their content. To create on social media is to post original content, such as images taken with your friends, or tweets that were made up by yourself. To curate on social media means to post content that is not original that others have posted first, such as sharing articles on Facebook, or pinning a DIY project on Pinterest. With this being said, curating and creating are two different ways to go about social media, but I think using a mix of both is the perfect way to balance your personality and professional self on social media.

I love being original, and most of my social media sites show this. I often tweet about how school is going (AKA usually how stressed out I am.) I also post many images of my cat, Screen Shot 2016-11-29 at 10.49.48 AM.pngand what I am doing. I like being creative on social media because I get to write and post and say what I want, and sometimes I find it stressful having to tweet or post about a certain thing, such as when we live-tweeted for my social media class. Although I like to be creative on Twitter, I also curate on Twitter. Retweeting or quoting a tweet, for example, is an Screen Shot 2016-12-01 at 11.31.29 AM.pngexample of curating being used. I think being creative and curative is great to use on a social media site such as Twitter. And as we mentioned in class, mixing the content on Twitter can be a sign that you are a Trust Agent.

 

As I mentioned earlier, the content that I post on Pinterest are curated. When I am on Pinterest, I pin and add to my board images and DIY projects that have already been created. Since I am posted non-original content, I am curating the content. Just because the content I pin on Pinterest are curated, however, does not mean that there are not aspects of Pinterest that are not creative. Although it is not much, I am creative on Pinterest when I create boards which I then pin my curated content into. Even though it may seem like you may be using one or the other on my social media sites, more often than not some type of mix of both is being used.

Creating or curating content on social media are posting where either original content is which is being creative, or when reposting or non-original. If you want to be considered a Trust Agent on social media, having posts that are both creative and curated are essential for building a good network. When looking at my social media sites such as Twitter and Pinterest, I am constantly posting both creative and curated content, although I might not seem to realize it.

Agent Zero

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Are you the center of a network?

Are you able to spread ideas?

If you answered yes to both of these, then you are an Agent Zero! An Agent Zero does not only have the ability to spread ideas throughout their network, but they are also a “reputation engine.”

Here at Edgewood College, we got the chance to learn and work with Shawn Johnson, a very experienced Agent Zero. Shawn Johnson taught us the ins-and-outs of LinkedIn, where her Agent Zero skills became visible. Shawn taught our class how important it is to maintain our profiles, and have a professional headshot and headline. Once you have gone through and added all your skills and experiences, it is important to make connections. After all, this online tool was created to network with other professionals.

LinkedIn is a valuable network that helps individuals spread ideas and create professional relationships. There are many characteristics that determine the strengths you withhold as an Agent Zero, which can be shown through your LinkedIn. One of these characteristics is to develop attention, which goes along with building your network. Online relationships are vital in creating your network, but face-to-face interactions can even further strengthen your ability to be an Agent Zero.

If you want to be successful in a professional setting, being an Agent Zero will improve your chances.

You need to be the center of a network.

You need to spread ideas.

You need to make connections.

You are an Agent Zero.

Attributed to Trust Agents chapter 5

Picture attributed to ReTargeter

Blog written by: Erin Jagemann and Anna Mueller

Why it Pays to Link In… Literally

Attention all Communication Studies majors: Link In, Link In, LINK IN! For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about, consider giving this blog a read. Taking an hour of your day to make a Linked In profile can literally get you a job. Linked In is a site that enables individuals to present themselves in a professional way, and “link in” with colleagues, coworkers and even potential future employers. The site also allows its users to give a summary of themselves, their interests, work history, honors and accomplishments and more that present themselves in a way that makes future employers want to hire them. I am here to tell you as a comm studies major myself, how why having a professional Linked In profile as a college student can really pay off…literally.

Up until about a month ago, I did not have a Linked In profile. I did not know much about Linked In, but I assumed since it was a place for professionals, and that I did not belong there because I am only a college student. I also assumed that the site would be super boring. I was so wrong about both of those things. blog 9 pics 1.pngLinked In can be a fantastic tool for gaining information from the business and professional world, and this information comes up on a news feed much like Facebook does. It is also a great tool for seeing what places are hiring and looking for people to hire in your field at companies around you. You are even able to see who have viewed your profile!

Creating a Linked In profile can be extremely beneficial in the long run. But, it is very important to make sure that you create a profile that not only reflects who you are as a person, but also makes you stand out. Employers want to see more than just your resume and skills, but they want to see how you are different and better than other potential future employees they are looking at to hire. Making sure you update and maintain your profile is important to do, so individuals looking at your profile know what you are currently doing job wise. Using a professional headshot and thinking of a creative, short description of yourself can grab a future employers attention. With this being said, many employers looking for employees use the site Linked In find potential employees, and vice versa. Having a good network on your Linked In helps, screen-shot-2016-11-09-at-12-38-59-pmas it will enable a potential future employee to find you easier, and it also makes you seem more professional (even if you still are just a college student.) You can never start networking your professional self too early. Even if you are still a college student and are not looking for a post-college career yet, Linked In has employers that are looking for college students to have as interns, which can lead to a getting a job after college. It could also lead to having the company that you do your internship with to recommend you to another company that they think you would fit well into!

Finding a job after college can be an extremely difficult and frustrating process, but Linked In makes it easier for both employers and potential employees to find the perfect careers for them. By creating a Linked In profile, you are more connected with professionals and companies that are looking to hire new employees. Grabbing attention of these possible future employees just from your Linked In profile means that presenting yourself in a positive way, and making yourself stand out from the rest is important. Linked In can lead to internships and careers without barley having to do anything other than creating a profile, and networking with others and keeping your profile updated. So please, comm majors, and all other college students, I would highly recommend making a Linked In profile because it can make finding a job easier, which means a quicker transition and less time from being a poor college student (we can all relate) to a professional, full-time working college grad.

The Four P’s and the E of Me

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Positive, personal,passionate, political and engaged. These are five words collected from a classmate and myself, describing my personal brand on social media. Social media can be an extremely beneficial and efficient way of getting information about yourself out there, so a person that has not met you can get a general understanding of who you are. All social media sites, but especially LinkedIn, can help future employers gather information on you to see if you would fit their needs and position they are needing to fill. With this being said, portraying your personal brand on your social media sites is important, and it is important to present yourself in a professional way, especially on sites such as LinkedIn. I believe that I do a good job of presenting myself in a positive way on social media, but could improve on leaving a few details out. Relating to this,the Klout score is a great tool for individuals to use if they want to see how they are being evaluated on their social media sites, and where improvement can be made on their social media pages.

Going back to my five words that were used to describe my social media,the first word one of my classmates described me as was positive, because I am always smiling in the images I am in, and overall, seem like I am in a good mood and look on the brighter side of things most of the time. Being a positive person is essential in the workplace. No one wants to have to work with that one person that is constantly negative, and always puts everyone and every idea down. The more positive a workplace is, the more likely people will enjoy working at the company and doing business with the company.

Personal, the next of the words that convey my brand, could both be good and bad. Being personal on social media can be good in the sense of if a future employer is looking for a person to hire and stumble across you on a social media site, they are able to distinguishScreen Shot 2016-11-04 at 11.02.08 AM.png a bit about who you are. My Twitter site includes that I am a junior at Edgewood College, a Communication Studies major, that I am an animal lover and also love the show The Office. Since Twitter is not as professional as a site such as LinkedIn, I think it is an atmosphere that personal information such as my favorite TV show can be included in my bio. On LinkedIn, however, I leave out the last two facts about me, and focus more so on my professional life.

Passionate is a great word for someone to describe you as, and one of my classmates did use this word. She said I seemed passionate on my social media sites about certain topics, such as politics, animals and my future career and current careers in Human Resource Management. To me, being passionate about your work is extremely important, and shows that you are a dedicated, hard-working individual. If you show that you are passionate about your work on your social media sites, you are setting yourself up for success in the future.

Politics… now this one can be a bit tricky. I used to be a person that quite frankly, did not give two shits about politics. But as I got older, especially since I have gotten to college, I realized how important politics is for the future of America and for the next generate of adults, which is me. I am passionate about politics now, and I take it very seriously. I look up facts, and am informed about who I am backing and why. I tend to make my political views known on social media, because I can and I want to. But again, I mostly leave my political views on Twitter, which is a less professional place than LinkedIn. If a future interested employer overlooks me because of my political views, then I guess it happens.

The last of my five words that are used to describe my personal brand is engaged. Being engaged and active in not only important in the workplace, but also the community. If you look at any of my social media sites, you can see that I was a member (and a captain) of sports teams in high school and college, and belong to groups on campus such at Edgewood College Friends of St. Vinny’s. It can also be seen on my LinkedIn site how engaged and active I am in the workplace due to the amount of different tasks and duties I have at my jobs. Being engScreen Shot 2016-11-04 at 11.08.27 AM.pngaged looks great on any social media site you post it on, so get involved in different events and groups, it will 100% pay off in the future.

 

The Klout, an app that determines and individuals influence to others on social media sites, is a great way to see how influential, and essentially how good your social media skills are. I tried Klout for the first time today, and my score is a 57/100. This means that I am a bit above average, but my social media presence and engagement definitely has room for some improvement. I would encourage people to check out the Klout, and see what their scores, especially if they are interested to see how influential their social media presence is.

We learned that presenting your personal brand on social media can be extremely important. You want your social media to portray you as someone who would be a good future employee on sites such as LinkedIn, but can have more fun on social media sites such as Twitter. As I mentioned, I believed I am mostly doing a good job on my social media sites, but there is a bit of room for improvement, as my Klout score is only a 57. The Klout can be a beneficial tool to define how you present any portray yourself on social media, and is greatly recommended for individuals that use their social media to portray their personal brands.

 

 

Ian’s Pizza… Enough Said

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Just letting you all know that my Comms 295 class is better than any of your classes. Unless you get free pizza from Ian’s… then I guess we can talk (it was even the Mac n’ cheese pizza.) Our blog this week can be about anything from the semester that we wanted to write about, and today was definitely one of my favorite classes so far. Not only did we get to hear insanely interesting stories, but we learned important lessons as well. Today in our Comms 295 class  we got free pizza from Ian’s, and had guest speakers Staci and Zach come to our class and told us a little bit about Ian’s Pizza’s success, and their marking methods. Staci more so focused on how Ian’s initially became the successful business they are today in the slowest month of the year, and Zach told us the importance of social media for a business. Sharing real life experiences with our class helps us understand what it will be like for us when we get there after college graduation.

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Staci came into our class today as our first guest speaker. I really enjoyed listening to her stories about how Ian’s became so popular so quickly. I was so sucked into hearing the story that I wasn’t even on my phone or Macbook at all, which like never happens. Did you know that Ian’s Pizza’s success happened during the protests taking place in Madison in 2011? Me either. If you want to read more about this story, there are numerous articles about it. I have looked at a few articles explaining the story, but the article that I believe explained it best was from the New York Times. Staci was such a great guest speaker because not only did she explain the success of the business in 2011, but she also told us about the struggles they faced, such as getting way too many monetary donations to keep up. The way they fixed this was by cutting off the phone lines when they got to a certain amount of donations for the day. I also loved when Staci told us mistakes that she made in the process, such as an instance that she was on the phone with a reported for CNN that she thought was just a photographer. Focusing on both the triumphs and difficulties went along with the predicament they were in. Yes, the protest in Madison in 2011 made Ian’s as successful as it is today, but it did not mean the journey there was easy.

Zach, our second guest speaker of the day, came in clutch. At 10:46 a.m. he delivered our class two beautiful Mac n’ Cheese pizzas for us to enjoy (I ate three pieces, no shame.) Zach does the marketing for Ian’s Pizza and he graduated from Edgewood College, so it was pretty cool to have such as successful alum come and talk to us today. When Zach was talking to us, he highlighted how one should use social media in a business setting, and it was amazing because a great deal of the items he talked about were things that we talked about when we read a social media etiquette article earlier in the semester. He also emphasized the importance of happy customers, and how to reply on both social media and in person to unhappy customers. The information he gave us was very relevant and helpful, because many of us will have to use this advice in future jobs.

Overall, this is one of my favorite classes thus far. Not only did we learn a ton of valuable information we can use in the future, but we also had fun while doing it. Staci did a fantastic job of telling us the story about how Ian’s Pizza became so popular, and Zach told us about media and marketing tools. I wish all guest speakers in my classes were like Zach and Staci. I mean I’ve never had a guest speaker in class that brought Mac n’ Cheese pizza so until they do that, Staci and Zach will stay my favorites.

 

 

Friends of State Street Families- Spreading Awareness

At 20 years old, I have never thought about what it is like to be homeless. I grew up in a middle class family, with a supportive parents that help me pay for college, and I have saved enough money from working to afford my rent. So to come to class today and have a guest speaker named Angela Gargano tell us about the issue of homelessness in Madison Wisconsin, where I go to college, was truly an eye opener. Angela came in and told us about Friends of State Street Families, an organization in the Madison area to help families and individuals who are affected by homelessness everyday. When we were learning about Friends of State Street Families, we were spreading awareness of this cause with our Twitter followers by live tweeting. Live tweeting about this charity was very beneficial, but also heartbreaking at the same time. Although it may seem heartbreaking tweeting about such a huge issue that takes place right in front of us, getting this information out via Twitter was extremely powerful. It enabled us to share the information we learned  with a large audience and helped make a big impact in a short amount of time.

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It was not challenging in itself to come up with tweets about Friends of State Street families, because we learned so much during such a short time. The challenge that went along with tweeting about this cause were hearing the hard, sad facts about the effect of homelessness in our community. Statistic after statistic of depressing information and stories we heard in class were just  heart wrenching to hear, and even more difficult to tweet. But to spread awareness about this cause, information like this needs to shared in order for people to realize the seriousness if it in our community. The statistic that really stood out to me the most was that the average age for a homeless person is just nine years old. How sad is that? Tweeting that information to my followers was something that at first, I did not want to tweet. Not many people want to hear about depressing news such as that statistic. This is due to the fact that the news and media do not want to cover homelessness in their communities.The Friends of State Street Families has a very great website, if you want to read specifically more facts about homelessness, click here. 

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If there is one thing we learned in class so far this semester, is that social media can be an extremely powerful tool. Live tweeting in class about Friends of State Street Families confirmed this fact. The first time that we live tweeted in class, my followers from outside our class did not engaged with my tweets whatsoever. But, during this live tweeting session I had friends from home and others engaging in my tweets by favoriting, retweeting and even replying to my tweets. To me this was fantastic, because not only was I spreading awareness for homelessness in Madison, but my tweets were affecting my other followers who do not even live in Madison. Also, the first day that we live tweeted I actually lost followers, but live tweeting today I actually gained two followers. With this being said, live tweeting for Friends of State Street Families was beyond beneficial to not only myself, but for my followers to spread awareness about homelessness. Maybe it will even influence them to try to make a difference in their community when it comes to homelessness.

Although live tweeting for this cause was challenging at times, I am beyond glad that we did this in class today. Even though we heard things that we did not want to hear, posting via Twitter  can help spread the message in a quick, and powerful way. I have not been volunteering my time in the community as much as I should be, and after class today, I think I am going to see what I can do to help Friends of State Street Families. If you or anyone you know would like to volunteer or donate items to this organization, please visit the Friends of State Street Families website for more information.

 

 

 

The Great North Face

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For our Comms 295 class, we were to choose a brand that resonates with us, and follow that brand on all platforms of social media. The brand I have chosen is The North Face, because I absolutely love their items. For those of you who do not know what The North Face is, it is a brand that contains a variety of different clothing and outdoor equipment items such as: jackets, sweatshirts, hats, mittens, shirts, pants, snowboards, boots, tents and more. I chose this brand because I love their products, and have everything of theirs from rain jackets, fleece sweatshirts (I have 7 of these), hats, mittens and shirts. It is very rare to see me in fall, winter and spring not wearing one of their products at least a few times per week. As I began to follow the The North Face on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, the sites reinforced reasons as to why I love The North Face products and how they advertise them, but also would like to see a few things change in the way they advertise also.

I have been wearing North Face clothing since high school. I absolutely love their products for many reasons. The clothing has amazing quality, and lasts an extremely long time. Their website and their social media sites do an amazing job of promoting their products with phenomenal photos. I believe the way they brand themselves with these types of images helps their company gain more followers on their sites, thus getting more people to buy their products. Their social media sites are always active, with updates at least daily. This is a great thing to see if you are a customer, because you know they are always getting new products and having new deals. Below are just a couple of amazing images that are on @thenorthface Instagram feed. Who wouldn’t want to look at such beautiful photos?

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I love almost everything about how The North Face promotes their products, but there is one thing that I think could use some improvement. I noticed that @thenorthface Twitter account does not seem to get involved in Twitter conversations with their customers.The only time that they really do is when a customer has a complaint about their products.The North Face always starts their tweets responding to these complaints with “We are sorry” which we learned is the best thing to do.When looking through The North Face Twitter account to see how they engage with customers, it does not look good to see that the only time they engage with their customers is when there are customer complaints. A recommendation for their company is to start being more socially active with their followers, and respond to positive tweets and responses as often as they do with the negative ones. Almost all of their tweets are just promoting their products. Although it is good to promote your product on social media, I think getting involved with your customers and your fan base is extremely important. If a prospective customer goes on social media and sees that the company is engaged with their customers, they are more likely to buy products from that brand.

As I mentioned earlier, The North Face has been one of my favorite brands since high school. I love the majority of the way that they promote their product, but there is room for improvement on social media by interacting with their followers and customers. I am interested to see over the next few weeks of following The North Face on social media if their advertising tactics stay fairly the same, or if they will change.

 

 

Live Tweeting: My First Experience

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Today in Comms 295, we had a live tweeting day.Live tweeting is when an individual tweets about a topic while it is happening. In order to get full points for the activity, we were to tweet 20 times during our class period, with tweets that corresponded to the discussions. When we did this, we were to us the hashtag #socialeagles to get credit for our tweets. I love Twitter and tweeting, but I have never participated in a live tweeting situation as actively as I did today. One important item to note about live tweeting is that you never know what to expect, and that definitely can be said about today.

Live tweeting is very fun, but very intense at the same time. Tweeting with twenty other people in the class at the same time is difficult, because it is necessary to constantly be checking tweets, notifications and replying to others’ tweets. It came easily to me because I like tweeting and between all the conversations taking place, it was easy for me to chime in. Most of the class seemed to be enjoying the activity. My twitter profile is here, if you would like to view my live tweeting. I had really fun conversations with students in our class that I never had talked to before, and I think this class made us a little bit less of #awkwardeagles. Unfortunately, I also saw that others only tweeted once or twice during the whole class period. Not participating in the activity is not beneficial whatsoever, because we did not get to read or see that individual’s personality or anything, like I did with the active tweeters.Hopefully during our next live tweeting session they feel more comfortable tweeting and have a better hang of it.

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I literally came to class with my laptop battery at 60%, and after an hour and a half, it was totally dead. I think I ended the class period with about 27 tweets, which was a little bit about the requirement. But anyway, our tweeting took us to a number of different conversations and levels, and our tweeting even got us 50% off a Papa John’s Pizza! (The pizza situation is a whole other story in itself, but let’s just say that Papa John’s will not be the pizza place I will be ordering from if I want pizza within this next century.) Unfortunately I tried getting @ZacEfron to give Maddie, Lily and I a shout out, but I guess we didn’t make the cut. I very much so look forward to our next live tweeting day. I can’t wait to see where it takes us!

 

 

 

 

Over Sharing: Why You Don’t Want to be One of Those People

Technology is a beautiful thing (when it cooperates, that is.) Through social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and so on, we are able to connect with friends, family and acquaintances on a daily basis. Big news is often shared via social media, such as pregnancy announcements, new jobs, and many other items. Some people take social media for granted and overshare, which most of us do not care to see when we scroll through our newsfeed. Luckily, I am here to explain why you do not want to be one of those people who overshares on social media, and posts stauts’ with too much personal detail. Not only is over sharing improper social media etiquette, and can just be super embarrassing.

Over sharing… where do I even begin? As an active social media user, being friends or following a person that overshares is just the worst.Honesty, 99% of the time I unfriend individuals on my feed that overshare. I do this because I really do not care to see constant posting by the same person, and I assume other social media friends feel the same way. I had (emphasis on had) a friend on Facebook that would post status’ detailing things about her menstrual cycle, and just other really personal information about herself and her family that did not have a reason to be posted online. Personally, it made me feel uncomfortable, but I am not close enough to the person that I would really mention anything to them about it. It was just easier to unfriend the individual on Facebook, and move on. Refraining from over sharing on your social media accounts is important because although it may seem harmless at the time, it may save you from embarrassing moments like it would have for Sally in the instance below.

I did not want to use personal examples of individuals on my Facebook that were oversharing, but I found a website online that provided many examples of people who over shared who just shouldn’t have. blogpost2pic3I found a great page was titled 14 Examples of Oversharing That Will Make You Cringe Forever, and it provided some examples of oversharing on the Internet. Here is an instance of a Facebook update that proves that some things are just better left unsaid.

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This example is just straight up too personal and as Melinda said, “TMI much?”

From my example above, we see Sally oversharing via Facebook. In both cases, we ask ourselves “why would anyone post that?” Well, in an article we read in class titled The Real Reason Why So Many People Overshare on Facebook, we get a few reasons as to why a person would post this type of information. The article tells us that when an individual is facing a screen rather than talking to an individual face to face, it is easier to say anything you want. Obviously, Sally was one of those people who did this, because I could bet that Sally would not go up to each of the friends that she has on Facebook and tell them this ‘news’ that she had face to face. Although I am not personally friends with Sally on Facebook, her status suggests that she frequently posts updates on her newsfeed. Please people, do not be like Sally and overpost and share way too personal of information on social media, or post intimate information that the general population does not need to know. And no Sally, we aren’t “jealous much.”