The phenomenon of sharing too much information on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or SnapChat has gone so far as to inspire even a church choir to speak — er, sing — out against the issue.
A recent YouTube video shows worshippers at an unidentified church singing a gospel-styled tune with the ironic title “Keep Yo Business Off Yo Facebook.” The two-minute video documents choir members swaying and clapping, while singing about the dangers of oversharing on social media.
“Sundays you act like a saint, but your Facebook posts say you ain’t,” the man sings. This tongue-in-cheek video is a response to the oversharing epidemic that takes place on social media and which is fostered by the instantaneous nature of new technology. Before the days of smartphones, the natural delay that occurred in between taking images or videos and sharing them publicly offered people an opportunity to think twice. In contrast, today we can upload content immediately and on the go.
It turns out the availability of social media itself may not be entirely to blame for our propensity to overshare. One study from the Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Lab at Harvard found that brains respond to self-disclosure the same way they respond to temporal pleasures, such as food, money and intimate relationships. As humans, we simply enjoy sharing the details of our lives.
Yet as social media users, we must continue to ask ourselves if the momentary pleasure of sharing is worth suffering the long-term consequences. After all, once something is posted online, it’s posted there for good.