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Social Sharing Gains Momentum

When I was a little boy attending kindergarten at Oakham Center School (back when it was still located in the town hall), my teacher, Mrs. Morgan, extolled the virtues of sharing. It was good to share our toys and, when we did, we set a good example. We had more fun. Sharing was good for everyone. Not sharing was rude and selfish.

Times have changed.

Marketing researcher Warc recently announced the results of a study conducted to gauge the social sharing habits of social media users around the world. Seems there were a lot of Mrs. Morgans out there teaching a lot of youngsters about sharing. And the lessons stuck.

As you might imagine, the results showed that people everywhere love to distribute information. And why not? With a click of a mouse we can tell our family, friends, and total strangers what we’re doing, where we’re going, what our cats are doing, what our political opinions are and so much more. We can also tell family, friends, and total strangers what our friends are doing, where they’re going, what their cats are doing, and what their political opinions are and whatever else seems fun and convenient.

According to (my interpretation of) the Warc report, the most likely person to share is a highly educated, high-income Turkish woman under the age of 35. On the other hand, Japanese men over 50 with a low income and medium to low education are probably the least likely to share information. Overall 71 percent of us are prone to social sharing, and that’s a pretty high risk factor.

Our propensity for sharing is also seen in the growing popularity of anonymous document sharing site PasteBin which, according to a recent TechCrunch article, surpassed 1 million members last month and continues to grow in popularity, especially in light of domestic surveillance revelations.

The implications of the increasing interest in PasteBin are a bit weightier, however. Rather than simply sharing cat photos, links to articles, or opinions on random topics, the folks who use PasteBin tend toward anonymous sharing of documents they’ve come across. Read into that what you will, but when someone chooses anonymity, there’s a reason. And if it’s your valuable documents that are being shared anonymously, that’s probably not a good sign.

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