It is often said that there is a difference between what people will share online and what they will share offline. On one side, this can mean that one may only share certain things when they are online, and on the other side, this can mean that they will share practically everything.
When the former takes place, one is not going to share anything that is too personal. And as it is possible for so many people to see what they share, it could be said that this will be the sensible approach to take.
Not only will their ‘friends’ be able to see what they share, it can also be possible for other people to see. Also, once something is online, it can end up being there for life, and their information can end up in the wrong hands.
However, when it comes to the latter, one is not going to hold back when it comes to what they share. In this case, it might not matter what is on their mind or what they have been doing, as it could end up online.
It will then be possible for their ‘friends’ to find out a lot about them by looking through their profile page. There is also the chance that some of their ‘friends’ will end up being shocked by what they share.
Now, if the first person was with one of their close friends, they could end up talking about what is taking place in their life. During this time, there will be no reason for them to hold anything back.
Yet at the same time, they might not act this way if they were with people they don’t know very well, and this will partly be down to the fact that they won’t have the same level of comfort. Thus, when they are around people they don’t know very well, their behaviour is generally going to be different.
And even though the second person can share practically everything online, it doesn’t mean that they won’t be careful when it comes to what they share offline. When they are in the real world, they could act in a way that is similar to the first person
Along with this difference, it could also be said that there is a way for one to act in public and another way for them to act in private. Now, this is not to say that one has to play a certain role around others; what it comes down to is that it will be important for them to respect other people’s boundaries and to think about others.
One way of looking at this would be to say that this will be part of having empathy and the ability to expedience shame. So through one being able to put themselves in another person’s shoes, so to speak, it can stop them from harming another person.
Therefore, their empathy will enable them to get along with other members of society, and if they can’t do that, they won’t go out of their way to make their life difficult. This shows how important empathy is when it comes to having a civilised society.
What will also have a positive effect on how people behave is shame, and this is because it will stop them from behaving in ways that are inappropriate. It will give them the ability to moderate their behaviour.
When one is online, they might not be around others (and even if they are, this might not have en effect), and this can then stop them from thinking about whether they should share something. For one thing, it is so easy for one to share something; it is not as if this is something that takes any effort.
And while this can relate to what they share, it can also relate to the kinds of things that they say online. During this time, they might only be thinking about making themselves feel better as opposed to the effect that it will have on others.
There is also the chance that the reason they behave in this way is because they are simply copying other people. In this case, they won’t have taken the time to think about whether someone else’s behaviour was appropriate; they would have just copied it.
On one side, this could be something that they have learned from their friends, and on the other side, it could be what they have learned by paying attention to what celebrities have been doing. And through being exposed to their behaviour over a certain period of time, they can end up seeing it as normal.
Shameless behaviour is something that can take place when someone shares a picture of themselves where they are practically naked. This can take place without them thinking about the effect it will have on their life or the impact that it will have on others
As a result of this, they could justify their behaviour by saying that it shows that they are empowered or free, and if someone judges them, they could believe that they are the ones with the problem. Another example is when one shares a comment that is abusive or uses language that is inappropriate.
The Real World
And through behaving in this way online, it can also have an effect on how one behaves offline. What this shows is how powerful social media is when it comes to how people behave and what they see as acceptable
One could find that they look through their news feed in order to see how they should behave, and this could be something that takes place unconsciously. So if one does care about how their behaviour affects others, it will be important for them to think before they share something.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 25 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.