If one was to share something online, the responses that they receive could be different to the responses they would get if they shared something offline. This is one reason why people share things online that they wouldn’t share in the real world.
For one thing, when one shares something on social media, they are going to be behind a screen, and this is going to give them a sense of protection. Whereas when they are around people in the real world, they are not going to have this.
As a result, they can feel more exposed and this can then stop them from talking about certain things. This is not to say that they will be this way with everyone they know though, as there could be a number of people in their life who they open up to.
On the other hand, one could be in a position where they only open up when they are behind a screen. And while this could be a sign that they haven’t got any friends, this might not be the case.
What it can come down to is that they don’t feel comfortable sharing their life with real people. Thus, one could believe that the only option they have is to share their life online.
It could then be normal for them to feel isolated in life, and social media is going to be something that will have a positive effect on their life. Whenever they share something online, there is the chance that they will receive some kind of feedback.
And although they may want other people to comment or to ‘like’ what they share, they could also get a sense of relief through sharing something. They have been able to express themselves and this can give them a boost.
Better Than Nothing
Now, it is clear to see that this is better than one being in a position where they hold everything in, but at the same time, it doesn’t mean that it is going to be enough. What this partly comes down to is that human beings are social animals.
This is why it is often said that while social media can play a part in ones social life; it is not something that can replace it. Just as one wouldn’t expect to live on supplements; they would still eat real food.
So when it comes to what one can share online, there are things that they can share that are not going to be very personal, and then there are things that are. For instance, if one was to share a music video, they are unlikely to feel vulnerable.
Along with this, they could also share this video with their friends in real life, and this will show that they are not doing anything they wouldn’t usually do. However, if they were to talk about how they were feeling, this might not be the case.
A Different Experience
When this takes place, one can be doing something that they wouldn’t usually do, and it could then be said that they are sharing something personal. But even though one is being ‘vulnerable’ online, it doesn’t mean that they will realise this.
One on side, one can believe that they are only sharing something online and so it is nothing for them to worry about. And on the other side, there are likely to be plenty of other people who do the same thing, and this can cause them to believe that it is normal.
One way of looking at this would be to say that while doing something in the real world might be seen as inappropriate; this is not always going to be the case when it comes to the online world. When it comes to the example above, for instance, it wouldn’t be right for one to express how they feel to everyone they know in the real world.
This is partly because it is not going to be possible for everyone they know to display empathy and compassion, and this is why it would be dangerous for them to share their whole life with them. But even if it didn’t put their life at risk, it could still cause them to experience verbal and emotional abuse.
And even though sharing everything online can be seen as normal, it doesn’t mean that it is the sensible thing to do. The kind of people who one wouldn’t share something with in the real world can still be found online.
Also, once something has been shared online, there is the chance that it will be there forever. Therefore, the information one shares online can set them up to be taken advantage of in more ways than one.
Another thing that is often seen as normal online is when one displays attention seeking behaviour. If one behaved in this way in the real world, there is the chance that they would experience a strong reaction from others.
However, when this takes place online, it can cause someone to receive more ‘likes’ and comments, and what this shows is that their behaviour is being validated. And if another person questioned their behaviour, one could say that they are simply ‘expressing themselves’, for instance.
This can involve someone sharing things that have nothing to with them, or it can take place through them sharing pictures of themselves. They may constantly change their profile picture, for instance.
Also, one could end up sharing images where they are not wearing a lot, among other things. This kind of behaviour could cause a number of their ‘friends’ to talk about their behaviour, and they may even unfriend them.
When one’s attention seeking behaviour is supported by others and they have plenty of ‘friends’ who behave in the same way, there will be no reason for them to change. This might soon change if a number of people spoke up, or if people in the real world talked to them about their behaviour.
If one can relate to this and they want to change, they could look into why they need so much attention. This could be a sign that they need to change how they feel about themselves, and this may mean that they need to reach out for external support.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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.