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Social Status

You’ve been home a lot. A LOT. Your house is clean, your sock drawer is organized, and you’ve done most of the things around the house that you’ve wanted to do since the big pandemic of 2020 reared its head and threw us all into uncertainty.

So, you spend a lot of time online. Social media is an outlet, a place to gather when we can’t do it in person. Your go-to place for downtime and when you are bored. There is always someone or something online to capture your attention, and “they” know this. Ready for a quiz? How about a game that you can mindlessly play while dinner is cooking? Share old photos, update your profile with more details. Join more groups of like-minded people.

This online community fills a lot of time, and gaps that have come up from being lonely or from lack of human interaction. It is wonderful for a lot of things that include interacting and sharing information or updates, or photos with family and friends that we just don’t see like we used to. Just remember that sharing doesn’t always stop with the person you intended it for. Photos that are funny but maybe incriminating or embarrassing to the person in them can be shared quicker than wildfire. Even if you tried, you’d be unlikely to recall it effectively and with the hope of it never been seen again. Parties and posts can release personally-identifying information that is often used to obtain your login or password info. Listing your child’s birthdate, your wedding date, your own birthdate – you’re just giving a hacker the details that might be missing from your file. And yes, you likely have a file online that you don’t know about. Data is collected and can sit there unused by hackers until they have completed all of the blanks on your profile.

Quizzes give away details that define you in ways you don’t often see at first glance. If it’s free to you, it may still be coming at a cost that you don’t see initially. You’ve told them the color you like, your environmental preferences, your favorite number, design aesthetics, zodiac sign…the list goes on. All of this information is gathered and perhaps not used with malicious intent, but it IS used to provide groups that want to know how to appeal to your inner thoughts and purchase dreams.

It is fun to interact and engage with people when we can’t do it in person but be careful to watch the line when it becomes oversharing.

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