9 benefits of keeping your life private. How much intimacy do you have these days? The digital world has become a powerful tool for communication and collaboration, but it also leaves us vulnerable.
With so many ways to share information, everyone now has access to almost every aspect of our lives. From social networks to dating apps, the digital revolution has had a profound impact on our society.
But even though we live in a connected world, we don’t always want everyone to see everything. There are still many things that are best kept secret.
Too much technology is bad for your mental health.
I think we can all agree that technology has brought some pretty amazing advances to society. But there is always a downside.
Instead of connecting us, the overuse of technology makes us feel more and more isolated. We begin to engage the world through screens that create barriers.
A 2017 study concluded that people who use social media more are three times more likely to feel socially isolated than those who don’t use social media regularly.
There are also studies showing a link between social networking sites, depression, and anxiety.
In particular, people who feel they have more negative social interactions online have poorer mental health. All the more reason to keep your life private.
Sorry to say there are some pretty scary people lurking in the nooks and crannies of the Internet.
From catfish fishing to grooming, we need to pay attention to avoid potential hazards.
While we’re not being paranoid, the reality is that you simply don’t know who might be tracking or tracking you digitally – or what their motives are.
That sounds far-fetched, but it’s not. Statistics show that there are 3.4 million victims of harassment each year in the United States alone. And of those, a quarter said they had been bullied online. Research also shows that 4 out of 10 people have been harassed online. Young women, in particular, are more at risk of online sexual harassment, with up to 33% of those under 35 saying it’s happened to them.
The less needy we are, the less able we are to protect ourselves from the nasty annoyances of digital harassment.
More present in everyday life
The digital world is a major distraction. And one that doesn’t stop evolving as connectivity tools continue to evolve.
Research has concluded that regular use of digital technology has a significant impact, both positive and negative, on brain function and behavior.
But overuse of technology damages the brain, causing problems with attention and decision-making.
Anecdotally, I’m sure that’s what most of us can relate to. Who doesn’t feel the need to reach for their phone during a routine break from TV commercials or routine social media checks?
You could say that this type of distraction is the opposite of mindfulness – a kind of presence that helps us stay grounded in the here and now.
By focusing more on where you are and what you’re doing, you gain inner peace.
The benefits of mindfulness have been shown to reduce mental illness, promote emotional regulation, better memory, stronger relationships, better physical health, and improved cognition.
Over-sharing encourages ego
Honestly, a certain amount of what is shared online has very little to do with connection and much to do with vanity.
The more we open our private lives to the world, the more we are encouraged to care about how others see us. This can lead to selfish behavior.
Some studies have supported the idea that we become more selfish, while others suggest that we become more narcissistic. At least in part, the digital world is probably to blame.
Because once it’s there, there’s no going back
Nothing disappears on the Internet. Every drunken night, every watch-worthy episode, everything that, in hindsight, you wish you hadn’t shared — once it comes, it will.
Especially in your younger years, you may look back and regret some of the things you revealed.
We all make mistakes and lapses in judgment. But it seems these are more likely to come back and haunt you in the digital world.
You avoid tragedy
The longer you are alone, the less likely you are to be drawn into tragedy. A lack of intimacy can lead to gossip, getting involved in things that are none of your business, and people getting involved in yours.
The less conflict and chaos in life, the more peaceful we are. When you expose your personal life for all to see, don’t be surprised if people take it as an invitation to join. Privacy can help us respect and recognize people’s boundaries.
Who cares about all the trivial things we share online? Well, you might be surprised who pays attention and what they do with that information.
The data privacy debate has been going on for a long time. Almost everything you do online is silently monitored and can be used against you in the form of invisible manipulation.
From targeted advertising to profiling, someone always looks at your data and, in the process, invades your privacy. Scammers scour the Internet for information against you.
Seemingly innocent information like revealing your date of birth on your Facebook page allows identity scammers to put the pieces together to commit identity theft.
You Avoid Judgment
We shouldn’t care what other people think, but in reality, many of us are. Let’s be honest; right or wrong, we all silently judge each other. Why open this?
When you keep your private life private, you protect yourself from the gossip of the world that seek to rob you to build it up. Living a private life means you choose people you trust, people who are a part of your life, and people you choose to share sensitive topics with.
It can help you feel safer and more secure, making you more confident.
Cultivating deeper connections to real life
Confidentiality helps us focus on what matters. As we’ve seen, too much digital time can make us feel lonelier the more time we spend on superficial and unsatisfying connections.
Keeping your most private secrets and details private in smaller networks will help you create more authentic and satisfying relationships.
Especially on social media, our so-called “friends” can start to feel more like their audience. But when you take that energy and channel it into your direct interactions, you create more nurturing and satisfying connections with others.