Sassyhacksaws

Musings on an English Degree

My Problem with the Social Web

There’s the long reason why I left Facebook and there’s the short reason. The short reason is that I was tired of people over-sharing for the sake of over-sharing, or having their opinions reinforced, or whatever. It became less and less my thing. I didn’t have time to keep up with it all anymore (not for lack of trying either, I have a habit of reading everything I can about something). Other people’s lives didn’t interest me enough anymore. I cared to focus more on the core relationships in my life. I regret nothing.

The same thing goes for Twitter. I used to be all over the tweets before anyone really understood what tweets meant in the grand scheme of things. I don’t think I understood it at the time, and I don’t fully understand it now, but the fact remains that I just got bored with over-sharing my life and reading about other people over-sharing their lives.

Case in point, there’s a former coworker of mine from my current job who doesn’t protect her Twitter profile. She isn’t hard to find either. She over shares her life to the point that I wouldn’t hire her for any job. About half her posts have some reference or another to her drug use. Not exactly a shining candidate.

What I’m getting at is that it’s easy to find what people say on the web, easier than it’s ever been at least. I don’t make a point to hide my web activity, not most of it. I have a few throwaway email addresses linked to throwaway social media accounts but I don’t really use them. But if you were to search for “Danny Zawacki” on Google, you’ll likely find everything I’ve ever put online under this name. You’ll also find some things about the hockey player Danny Zawacki, but that’s not me. I’m trying to find a good way to bump him out of the first page of results so only me, the real Danny Zawacki, shows up.

All of this openness which I committed myself to years ago, though I certainly could go into seclusion on the internet if I wanted, makes certain aspects about my life difficult. I’m easily found for anyone searching and that limits the things I’m willing to put online. If I wanted to vent about someone or work or go off on a crazy, politically charged rant, I have to keep in mind that I’m not hidden. To the other extreme, for the things I’m really excited about I can’t always do. If I have something great that I found that I want to give to someone, I have to wait to share it (for fear that this person might read my blog). Or, if I have some exciting news about a career move, I cannot write about it nor could I vent about what happened at work recently that caused me to follow a new path.

It’s frustrating, really.

Sure, the simple solution would be to set up a social media account and restrict it to only a few friends or family that I invite to see it, but that defeats the purpose of social media in my eyes–the socialness of it. If it shouldn’t be seen by everyone, it shouldn’t be online.

TLDR; I’m venting about my inability to vent openly due to self-restriction.

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