Are we giving out too much information in social media

Jason Millis, Copy editor

How many tidbits of your life did you share today before you read this week’s issue of The Clarion? Did you post a photo of your last meal on Instagram? Did you upload some pictures to your Facebook page? Did you check in to a restaurant last night on Foursquare? Did you review that same restaurant on Yelp? Did you update your LinkedIn profile with your latest job information? What was your latest thought that you tweeted?

Social media and social networking can have advantages. The largest growing demographic of Facebook are people 50 years or over, likely those who might want to connect with their kids or grandkids, according to a Pew research study. The problem that emerges now is people over-share information that no one needs to know, and information that, in the wrong hands, could be dangerous.

Earlier, the information released by Edward Snowden, formerly of the NSA, about the NSA PRISM program outraged many people because of the amount of information that they gathered without a warrant. Due to people over-sharing, who needs PRISM?

Anyone these days can find out massive amounts of information on a person just by looking at their social media. Their Facebook alone could give information on where they might be and what they might be interested in going to in the future. On Facebook, many people will accept friend requests from people who they don’t know. Nothing says the profile belongs to the name that is on it. You can “stalk” people over Foursquare and Facebook too. Twitter can be valuable for information. People often update their Twitter pages with where they are, who they talk to and what they plan to do. People also have public conversations over Twitter.

This stuff also doesn’t go away either. You deal with people who re-post your information, and people who save the photos as well. Websites like save information that you might not wish to be saved for the viewing of future generations. Those videos you uploaded to YouTube will be up there for a while too. The Library of Congress is actually starting to collect all tweets, and Instagram almost got the rights to any photos that you post up there.