By Kate Magill

[audio:|titles=Kate Magill Column Podcast, “A Status for Everything”]

In today’s world of social networking, a new fad has taken hold among young people, one that I find aggravating—the need for individuals to let the world know what they are doing at all times through the use of status updates. With popular sites such as Facebook and Twitter now in place, this practice has become so easy that anyone can share his/her every thought with the world.

Not that I don’t enjoy reading about what my peers are up to, especially when I see that Shelly is “watching Mean Girls for the 57th time! :)”, but I have started to wonder: is everything people write on these sites worth reading? The answer unfortunately, is no.

Although social networking sites give users the freedom to post a new status whenever they choose at just the click of a button, people today use them to announce every thought and insight that runs through their mind, and to record every action of their day.  These tools are meant to be used so that users can share big events in their lives with the public, not so that Johnny from my math class can let me know he just “bought a sprite and now headed to the movies…” Although I’m happy for him and his Sprite, I’m not sure I really needed to know that meaningful piece of information.

To combat this annoying trend, Facebook and Twitter uses should be more mindful of the amount of statuses they leave online, or we may soon find ourselves in a world where not only online statuses are updated every few minutes, but we receive calls at the same rate, letting us know our peers every action. If you think reading a status about Johnny and his Sprite is annoying, how would you like receiving call after call about it? Unfortunately, that may be where we are headed. If we’re not careful, these updates are going to take over our lives, and we will be reduced to merely reading about the actions of others, rather than going out and doing anything ourselves.