You Don't Know Me Just Because You Read My Social Media

by Shikha Dhawan

I met up with a girlfriend a week ago and we started chatting about Facebook. She has eclectic tastes and would really like to share those tastes with other people on Facebook, but felt like she knew she would be judged for it.

So, rather than restricting her privacy settings, she chose to stop posting.

I have another friend who likes to be open about his likes and dislikes on Facebook. He has two different Facebook accounts: one filled with lewd comments and photos of women and another that is quiet, respectable and clean.

Both of these individuals have tastes that aren't “normal,” according to the socialized definition of what that means, and both have chosen different ways to share (or not) on social media.

It’s interesting to see how different people control what they do and don’t share on their social media networks of choice. You can usually tell a lot about people's likes and dislikes from the stuff they post online and can make judgments based on it.

For example, you could learn a bit about me from my social media networks: I'm spiritual; I love yoga; I want to be greener; I believe in frugality and minimalism; I love to travel. I am interested in self-improvement.

I also believe that there is a lot out there about the universe that is unexplained and that we don't know even close to the extent of what exists.

What you wouldn't find out from my social media postings is that I have an MBA, I love my family, I love wearing heels and I am an introvert.

The point of this is that although you might gather a lot of information from someone's social media postings about his or her personality and interests, you will never get the whole picture.

You will never know what the person is truly like. I understand how easy it is to judge someone based solely on these posts, but if I, for example, didn't know my girlfriend really well and just judged her from her online identity, I would believe her to be a religious fanatic.

If I didn't know my guy friend really well, I would definitely assume he was a player who used girls for sex and didn't care about their feelings.

Because I know both of these people fairly well, I know their social media personas aren't the whole truth. Rather, they are just pages of information of what they choose to share.

Human beings are such multi-faceted people that you really cannot peg anyone’s identity from a few posts and photos. To do so would only provide you with a slight insight to the whole, big-picture identity.

There are days when I am pissed off at the world and I post all about how bleak the state of humanity looks.

If you caught my postings only on one of these particular days, you would likely take away a very bad impression that paints an untrue, disproportionate picture of who I am — you might even delete me from your social media network for life.

In case you haven’t yet figured it out, I don't agree with judging someone on the basis of social media postings alone. I hope that you will take notice when you do so in the future and will step back to figure out a true analysis of the person's life rather than just what someone posts online.

Photo Courtesy: Scout and Catalogue