This is me not minding my business but for a couple of years now I couldn’t help but try to understand why people keep their social media account privates, just like every other inquiry I started by asking people around me who I noticed had their accounts private. Most times, I really didn’t get a reasonable reply, “ Because I want to”, “I don’t know”, blah blah blah, plenty masking. Some people were quite open to giving me tangible reasons, I am grateful to you all.
After much asking and reading up stuff online I’ve come up with 4 reasons.
Sure some people enjoy their privacy, and I’m all for that, but at the same time, if you join a “social” network, isn’t the whole point to be “social” and share not just with friends, but with strangers and peers who share similar interests as you?
This is the first reason because I want to play safe and be seen as someone who isn’t judgmental.
Suppose you post only or mostly adult appropriate content, It’s wise to screen the people who can see your posts.
Suppose you have or are experiencing cyberbullying, It’s okay to vet the people who can disturb you.
I don’t know all the reasons why some people would make their accounts private but some of the reasons could be that they don’t want certain people to view their pictures, keeping away from perverts and stalkers, having the freedom to choose who enters their friendship/trust circle, not wanting to have their life shared with the world but only a few people of their choice. Asem Yasser, a response to a similar question on Quora.
Suppose you are just adjusting to social media and want to just observe whats happening and not be seen, it’s okay for a while.
Not everybody who is on social media want to be completely immersed in it. They probably only want it to keep up with what is going on, and don’t really want to have everyone in the world know what they have been doing. Mariah Tucker, a response to a similar question on Quora.
Suppose you say it’s your life and your choice you might want to really trace what’s driving you.
A high ordinate opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, merit or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing or conduct.
The ability to decide who follows you and who doesn’t is cool, it’s like people apply to get access to view your awesomeness. It’s more like a job Interview where you get to know about the interviewee and the interviewer only reveals what he wants the interviewer to know.
I once asked a young guy whom I met and on checking his Instagram I found his account was private, so I asked him why, I even suggested that maybe he didn’t want his parents or relatives to find him but he declined the reason and attributed it to herd instinct, his peers had their accounts on private and seeing that it was the new cool decided to do same.
Herd Instinct: A situation in which people act like everyone else without considering the reason why.
Lack of confidence or assurance
We all face insecurities in different areas of our life, it’s a human thing. It takes confidence to share your life with the whole world — If everyone who has access to the internet can see your account then it is the whole world.
It takes confidence to think that what you share could help someone or brighten the day/night of someone else.
It takes confidence to not be bothered or that bothered to keep your account private because someone or people might not immediately or forever agree with your views and might say negative things.
It takes confidence to understand that it’s okay to share more about your life, that in doing so we give others permission to do so and we have a more sincere and authentic world.
I’d close with the words of Seth Godin and mine 🙂
Do you think we don’t need your art or are too afraid to produce it . Seth Godin
Do you think we don’t need to see your awesomeness or are you too afraid to show us. Daniel Adeyemi
Thanks to Kesi for reading the first draft of this post and making useful recommendations.