Sharing Is More Than Just Caring

Remember when you were younger and your parents always told you to share your stuff because “sharing is caring”?


Think about all the stuff you share today, specifically using technology, very specifically using social media. Do you really just share to show you care? Or is there much more to what and why you share?

According to Jesse Bouman’s article “Status and emotion are the two driving forces behind sharing.” So what exactly does that mean?

Customer Insight Group study gives us 5 reasons why we share:

  1. To bring valuable and entertaining content to others.
  2. To define ourselves to others.
  3. To grow and nourish our relationships.
  4. Self-fulfillment.
  5. To get the word out about causes or brands.

Looking at this even deeper, there are 6 personas of sharers:

  1. Altruists – share content to be helpful.
  2. Careerists – share to build a professional reputation.
  3. Hipsters – share cutting edge and creative content that builds their identity.
  4. Boomerangs – share content to get reaction from audience, seeks validation.
  5. Connectors – share content to stay connected with others and make plans.
  6. Selectives – put more thought into what they share and with whom they share it.

Lets see how these claims work in a few examples.

Example #1: Nicki O’Dea

Take my friend Nicki O’Dea for instance. When you check out her Facebook it mostly consists of some kind of workout/fitness related information. That is probably because she is very into fitness and also recently became a personal trainer.

When she shares information and videos about fitness workouts or healthy meals, she is sharing valuable content to her fitness Facebook friends. By doing this she is also defining her status to others as a personal trainer. Not only is she growing and nourishing her relationships with fitness people, she is also getting the word out about new workouts, eating habits, and anything else involving fitness.

When it comes to her persona of sharing, she is an altruist and a careerist in every way when she shares fitness information. O’Dea also recently got married, and showing all her wedding pictures and happily married posts proves her to be a connecter.

Example #2: Jessica Eckman

Then you have my sister Jessica Eckman who made a Facebook specifically for her profession as a dance instructor/dance studio owner.

Her most recent posts, as well as most of her posts, not only give light to her dancer’s accomplishments at competitions, they also help to define her self as a professional dance instructor and judge.

Between her Facebook and her email, Eckman proves herself as a careerist and a boomerang. She is a careerist in the sense that she shares all information on her dance studio to build her reputation as a dance instructor. Also 99% of her emails are dance and business related. She is also boomerang in terms of her posts about other dances to see what her friends think about them.

What About This Author?

As for me, I share many different things for many different reasons on my Facebook. Sometimes I share things because I hope they will make others laugh as much as they made me laugh. Sometimes I share things about different causes and concerns because I want people to be aware about them. Sometimes I share things simply in hopes to get likes and get attention from others to build my status as a sophisticated, fun, knowledgeable woman in society. Sometimes I share things that define me as a dancer.

So, why do you share what you share?


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