From Tracie: What I Am Not Sharing On Social Media

Monday, July 21, 2014

What I Am Not Sharing On Social Media

Just like I have boundaries for what I will post on my blog, I have boundaries for what I will share on social media. Facebook has that handy share button under every post, and I spend most of my day not using it.

What I Am NOT Sharing On Social Media

I won't share inspirational pictures that feel more judgmental than inspirational. Those messages that deliver a judgmental punch in the face, telling us all the ways we are failing at life, while cloaked in a veil of inspiration aren't helping anyone.

I won't share pictures that ask me to click like or share if I truly love Jesus. I do love Jesus; I don't need to interact with this picture to prove it. Especially when this picture probably originated on a facebook page that has nothing to do with Jesus, and is just trying to build up their interaction by preying on your sense of religious guilt.

I won't share a picture of food with the entire recipe written out in the description. This is partly due to the fact I don't cook, so recipes aren't useful for me, but mostly because these pictures and recipes have often been stolen from bloggers. There are many facebook pages out there who get all of their recipe content from blogs without asking permission or giving credit to the photographer/recipe author in any way. A red flag for this kind of theft is when the description says, "Share this picture so it will be saved on your timeline." They just want you to share it to increase the engagement rates on their page, not so you can easily find it later.

If you shared a story about child abuse, and I didn't hit that share button, it is probably due to one of these reasons:
  1. There is a graphic picture of the abused child.
  2. There is no link to an actual news story, but rather, a graphic picture of an abused child with a story written out on facebook without verifiable details.
  3. It contains a video of parents abusing their child - especially one that plays automatically in my newsfeed.

I don't believe it is appropriate for the picture of a child taken during or after an abusive and traumatizing event to be distributed on social media without the child's consent. Especially when it is accompanied by identifying details like their name or location. I don't believe this is in any way giving a voice to the child. When you share these pictures, you are actually taking away the child's right to choose when and how their story will be shared.

If an abuse survivor has pictures of themselves with bruises or scars, and wants to share them to help tell their personal story, I am supportive of that. I can share the link to their story while ensuring the pictures do not show up in the link preview, and state in my link description that there are potentially triggering pictures accompanying the article if they are graphic. I don't want to silence abuse survivors in any way, but I also want to be sensitive to other survivors who might not need to see graphic pictures pop up in their newsfeed, as well as to people who may have children in the room who don't need to be exposed to those pictures.

When there is a picture being shared and reshared on facebook with a shocking story written in the description, I am wary of the truthfulness of the picture and account. More than once I have had friends share these kinds of pictures, and with a very small amount of research, I have found them to be hoaxes. But even if the picture and story are true, I just go back to my first point, that I will not contribute to the distribution of a child's picture when it immortalizes a period or moment of trauma in their life, and when it was most likely not shared with the child's consent. It is possible to share a story of abuse, to bring it into the light, without identifying the victim through pictures, names, and locations.

I've seen several youtube videos floating around lately that have parents abusing their children. I will not share this. I do not need nor want to see children being abused to know it is happening. This is not an effective tool to combat abuse; it is nothing more than a constant revictimization of the child.

Those are just a few of my social media sharing boundaries, and the things I will not share. What are you not sharing on social media? 

33 comments:

  1. You said this quite perfectly and not sure what I could indeed add, but I will say that I too will not share anything with children being harmed as a mom to two small girls, I definitely feel very strongly to this, as well.

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  2. Totally agree with all of your reasons Tracie!!

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  3. Yes. As always I agree with you. So very much yes.

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  4. Very well said Tracie and I totally agree with you 100%!!

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  5. I agree with you one hundred percent. I'm very picky about what I share and I also verify any news reports that come across my feed because there are so many hoaxes out there. There is a way to turn off the auto-play for the videos in your account settings.

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  6. I love that you wrote about this! Especially since Scotty and I were just talking about something similar recently. You rock and we agree with you all the way!

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  7. I don't share most of these things just out of natural distaste for them. I don't like most inspirational stuff, I don't like cooking, and I see no reason to post about child abuse. It violates the child's privacy. I share political things that really tick me off sometimes, but mostly I just post things I've created and things from my life and my family. I agree with your list, but I naturally don't share these things.

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  8. I agree with every point. I only share posts that I know come from the original source, or from a reliable news source, and if the news/ story is something I feel strongly about (which is not often). I share funny pictures/ videos from original sources, or if I can't find one, I credit the person I am sharing it from.

    Have you read/ heard about James Ellis, who's ripping off viral/ popular YouTube videos and reposting them on his Facebook page without credit/ link backs? Those get reshared SO many times, and people just don't check to see who they should be crediting. And this dude has over 1.3 million Facebook likes, it's distasteful and disgusting.

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  9. I had not really thought about it before but I rarely share anything on my personal time for many of the same reasons. I do share things on my blog page timeline but only fun posts with proper credit. I think there are too many people out there who over share without even thinking about it.. Great post!

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  10. All of those things you mentioned are huge per peeves of mine. Bill gates is not giving you a dollar everytime you share his picture, Jesus did not give a womb less prostitute a baby, and I still care about cancer patients even if I don't share your picture. Stopping by from sits.

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  11. I totally agree with you. I am really choosy about what I share with people.

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  12. Agree! A pet peeve of mine is when I see Like if you agree Comment if you don't kind of posts and I can't believe people respond to this.

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  13. Very well said there are certain things I won't share on social media as well both on my private profile and on my blog page.

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  14. Great points - all of them! So many people just share without understanding any of this, so it is great for you to write about why people shouldn't share these things.

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  15. Exactly! I don't think people quite understand how awful it is to have a video play unexpectedly when you're already in a bad place. I deleted so many friends in my postpartum period for this.

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  16. I love you. These are so beautifully explained and thought out. I probably share too much on social media, but I try not to share things that can't be verified by Punditfact or someone reputable.

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  17. Hi
    I agree good boundaries are important . I would like to add this post to my boundaries resource page on my blog.

    Good and healing thoughts to you.

    Kate

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  18. There are a lot of things I choose to not share on Social Media. I definitely do not share my personal life, problems I am having, or what I ate for breakfast. I try and keep my posts friendly and upbeat. There is way to much negativity out there on the web especially between other bloggers. I can't stand that either.

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  19. I'm not sharing easily identifiable photos of my kids on Twitter or Instagram, because those can be legally picked up and used elsewhere without consent.

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  20. I am a Christian and I do not "share" pictures of Jesus either. I do share about Him yes but we really do not even know what He looked like while on earth and you are probably right they were probably made up on FB anyways!

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  21. I agree with you. There are things you need to not promote.

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  22. Over the last couple of days I've seen a story on Facebook and in blogs (and you probably know what I mean) that is incredibly disturbing to me. I don't condone the behavior of either party in that situation but mostly I'm just sickened that it has popped up in my newsfeed so that I wasn't even allowed the chance to not see it. I suspect if I saw it, then far too many children saw it in their newsfeeds too and that's even worse.

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  23. I hate it when my family members like certain things that are so ridiculous on Facebook too. They fall victim to spammers, and scammers.

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  24. I think these are really great rules. I don't like the "share if you love Jesus" ones AT ALL, and I also don't like anything that ends in "Let's see how many people will share this." SO annoying, and pointless.

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  25. I completely agree and hate seeing these sorts of things show up in my FB feed.

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  26. Yes yes yes I so agree with you

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  27. Good ones!! I didn't know about the recipes; excellent point! And, I certainly haven't seen the child abuse ones!! *shudder* Thank goodness!

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  28. I love this! I never share those "Share if you love Jesus" or "Share if you love your son" posts. Those are just silly. I agree with you on the child abuse one. One of my friends shared a very graphic photo of toddler who had been abused and it disturbed me for weeks. Great post!

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  29. Yes to all of this! I rarely spend time on Facebook anymore because of all the junk on it. The horrendous stories, the recipes/crafts without credit....it gets in the way of what I would want from Facebook, which is to connect with actual people.

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  30. I must be incredibly naive--I never realized that posts with entire recipes were often stolen from bloggers. That's terrible. I don't think I've ever shared one (like you, I'm mindful of what I post myself) but it's definitely something I'll be wary of next time.

    And same re: child abuse cases. I have a hard enough time following so many local shelters and hearing the sad plight of dogs that have been abused... when lives of innocent are made public via social media it absolutely robs them of their own freedoms.

    Stopping in from SITS today--hope you have a wonderful weekend!

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  31. Great post! I also have things I won't share and one of them is negative/bad news stories.

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  32. I totally agree. Some of those things are so blatantly manipulative and unhealthy and I won't go near them. I also want to retch when I see those overly sweet "All my friends are angels and if you love your friends - share this" Ick, ick, ick. I like to share things that are interesting, inspirational, or uplifting, not this types of drivel. #SITSSharefest

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