Social Media[Editor’s note: today’s post is an excerpt from ‘Open: What Happens When You Get Honest, Get Real, and Get Accountable‘ by Craig Gross, with Adam Palmer]

There’s something to this, some reason we feel the need to update even our most mundane moments (“just woke up; gonna eat breakfast”) or upload a picture of our latest meal (“peanut butter smoothie first thing in the morning”) or barf out our current emotional state (“bad smoothie; depressed now”). We love to share our lives. We need to share our lives, and social media gives us the chance to do just that.

Here are a few eye-opening statistics about some of the major players in social media:

Facebook is by far the unquestioned king in the social media business, currently boasting almost 850 million registered users (which includes more than half the total population of North America), uploading a total of 250 million photos every day. Additionally, Facebookers click the Like button 2.7 billion times on a daily basis and spend an average of twenty minutes on the site every time they visit. Oh, and if you could get a bird’s-eye view of the worldwide web and look at all the page views of the entire Internet all over the world, 20 percent of them would be a Facebook page.

What about Twitter, that other mainstay of oversharing? At the moment, Twitter users send out over 175 million tweets every day, and the microblogging network is growing at a staggering rate, adding roughly one million new accounts on a daily basis. For the record, that’s about eleven new accounts created every second.

And then there’s YouTube, the place where the occasional gem shines through mountains and mountains of mediocrity. After Google and Facebook, YouTube is the most visited website on the Internet, with a shockingly worldwide reach (only 22 percent of YouTube’s traffic is from the United States) and over two billion views per day. YouTube’s video count grows by 829,440 videos each day, accounting for about twenty-four hours’ worth of video uploaded every minute.

Social networking is growing so exponentially that between the time I wrote this book and the time my publisher released it, the stats I just gave went out of date.

If our culture’s addiction to social media is any indication, we are beyond eager to share what’s going on in our lives.

We crave connection. (Tweet This)

But instead of sharing in a superficial way online and connecting through bits and bytes and packets of digital information imparted over an Internet connection, where that information can get hijacked or seen by people you don’t know, what if we all shared the deepest, darkest parts of our hearts with one or two or three people we trust with absolute certainty?

How safe would you feel then?


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Social Media and Being Open by is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.