| Social media

TMI Alert: How can oversharing impact your future?

Alžbeta Kovaľová | 06 Apr 2024

In our present digital age, where social media platforms are a hub for connection, it's crucial to understand the implications of oversharing, particularly for our kids.

With the advent of numerous social media platforms, children are increasingly sharing their lives online, sometimes revealing more than they should or want, leading to a phenomenon known as 'Too Much Information' (TMI).
The question we must ask ourselves is, "How can oversharing impact the future lives of our kids?"

Oversharing and its consequences

Oversharing refers to the act of sharing excessively personal or detailed information online. It's akin to leaving digital footprints that can be traced back, forming a comprehensive picture of a person's life. For kids,
the consequences can be significant, ranging from damaged reputations to potential privacy breaches and cyber threats.

One of the key impacts of oversharing is on future opportunities, particularly in education and employment. Colleges and employers increasingly vet potential candidates through their online presence. Kids who overshare personal information, engage in inappropriate behaviour online, or share controversial opinions can find their prospects hindered. An inappropriate post from the past can paint an unfavourable picture, leading to missed opportunities.

Oversharing can also lead to serious privacy and security concerns. Personal information like addresses, school locations, or family details can be misused by cybercriminals, leading to risks like cyberstalking, identity theft, or cyberbullying. Oversharing about one's mental state, can lead to misuse of information by online predators, making kids more susceptible to grooming. In extreme cases, oversharing can even lead to real-world threats.

Psychological impact

The psychological impact of oversharing cannot be overlooked. Kids who share every aspect of their lives online can become overly dependent on social validation, leading to anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem. They might also struggle with forming genuine, real-life connections due to their dependence on digital interactions.

To read more about a psychologist's perspective, read an interview with Jarmila, Tomková.

What can parents do

To mitigate these risks,
kids need to be educated about the potential consequences of oversharing. This education has to start in the family and later be strengthened in school. They need to understand that the internet never forgets and that what they share today can impact their future or even the present.

  1. Set Social Media Guidelines - Set rules about what is okay to share online. Discuss the potential risks and encourage your child to think twice before posting.
  2. Teach Digital Literacy - Teach your child to differentiate between what's appropriate and inappropriate to share online. Encourage them to maintain a positive digital footprint.
  3. Privacy Settings - Ensure your child's social media accounts are set to the highest privacy settings. This limits what can be seen and by whom.
  4. Encourage Offline Interactions - Promote real-life interactions and hobbies that don't involve oversharing online.
  5. Create a safe space – Encourage your kids to share their feelings offline in a safe environment, rather than online where you don’t know who has access.

Social media can be a great tool for connection, it's vital to understand the potential pitfalls of oversharing. Parental controls can be a useful tool in helping manage your children’s social media and online habits. With easily adjustable privacy settings, time limits and content blockers, you can support your child to use the internet safely. As parents and educators, it's our responsibility to guide our children to use the wonder of the online world responsibly, ensuring a safer digital future for them.



About the author

Alžbeta Kovaľová /
Security writer

Alžbeta has worked at ESET for two years...

Read more
ESET Parental Control for Android ESET Parental Control for Android

Make the internet safer for your children

With ESET Parental Control for Android