No More Privacy (Module 2)

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Social media has changed the way we live our lives. As Shelley Turkle states,“ The little devices in our pockets are so psychologically powerful that they don’t even change what we do, they change who we are” (TED Blog, 2012). For some, that may be viewed as a good thing but when you look at all the things it has changed I think we have lost a lot more than we have gained.  Things like privacy have almost become non-existent and social networks have become a place where people don’t have to be themselves, and in some cases can become a completely different person just because they can. Personal contact has been completely thrown out the window, no longer do you have to call someone to talk to them and entire conversations can happen without even seeing the person face-to-face. Everything in today’s world has become so digitalized that we have become two different people. While texting, emailing and sending messages online we are able to edit the things we say, think about it before we send them and become a better version of ourselves. When faced with meeting people in person and actually having a real conversation, we don’t get to edit the things we say and can’t take a day to respond to a question while we think about what we are going to say which has become a challenge for some. I think it’s almost ironic that we call it ‘social’ media because we seem to be losing out social abilities and skills when it comes to the real world. Sherry Turlke mentioned in one of her articles that a young boy of 16 once told her “Someday, someday, but certainly not now, I’d like to learn how to have a conversation” (Turkle, 2012). We are no longer having conversations but simply connecting (Turkle, 2012).

I have to admit that I am not innocent in all of this as I have conformed to society and have accounts for the major networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. Although I have a multiple account for these different social networks I try to stay true to the person I was before the big bang of social media. I don’t use them to have an outlet; I believe that if you would not say it to a person’s face or could not talk about it in a real conversation then it should not be posted online and if you would be embarrassed to show your boss the pictures you post then to maybe think twice about posting them.  I am a minimalist when it comes to posting things online, I don’t think it is necessary that everyone needs to know what I am doing at every moment. There is also the privacy issue. It is hard to have any type of privacy when you are involved in social media; the only way to really obtain a very private life style would be to completely avoid social networking. Even just to sign up for an account such as Facebook you are asked to fill out a list of things about yourself that aren’t always necessary, at least in my opinion. Even if you try to keep the things you post generic, there is still the problem that it will be on there forever. Boyd argues that “there is often a disconnect between students’ desire to protect privacy and their behaviours” (Boyd, 2007). People may be aware and concerned about their privacy but their actions do not equal up.  There are only so many privacy setting you can apply to your account but the reality is that there is no such thing as privacy on the internet.  If someone really wanted your information, there is a way.  Everyone needs to start being more aware of what is being posted and come to the realization that things can come back to haunt you. We must be smart about social networking in an attempt to protect ourselves and our privacy.

Social Network Sites: Definition, History, and Scholarship  danah m. boyd Nicole B. Ellison Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication Volume 13, Issue 1, pages 210–230, October 2007

Places we don’t want to go: Sherry Turkle at TED2012
http://blog.ted.com/2012/03/01/places-we-dont-want-to-go-sherry-turkle-at-ted2012/

Sherry Turkle. The Flight From Conversation. New York Times Sunday Review. April 21, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/22/opinion/sunday/the-flight-from-conversation.html?pagewanted=all

 

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5 thoughts on “No More Privacy (Module 2)

  1. I really like your reference to Shelly Turkle that states media change who we are. It’s so true and reminds me of the theory Media Ecology about how we basically become extensions of the media we use. I also agree with your worries about a lack of privacy, I find a growing number of people having conversations of such private matters in public places just because their cell phones allow them to. I don’t know if people just don’t care or are oblivious to the fact that they are having private conversations in public places. The fact that we are connecting and not actually having conversations really resonates with me too. I’ve met people that are so talkative via texting or online chatting but have trouble when it comes to keeping up with face to face conversations. I also share your concerns about privacy issues and social network sites. In media analysis this past term someone did a study on whether or not people actually read privacy agreements when accepting terms and starting accounts with these networks and unfortunately I fell into the same category as many others who simply don’t bother.

    Sarah Lougheed

  2. I believe there are pros and cons to social media and how we interact with each other. Society has changed for the worse in regards to not having face to face communication which can lead to conflict and misunderstanding. But it has also changed for the better in some circumstances because it is makes communication faster and effective instead of waiting for a call or trying to get ahold of someone. I do agree that within these social networking sites that the public has to be careful what is posted, and you have to be mindful of what you are sharing. Because whatever you are sharing, you basically have to be comfortable with a stranger seeing it. There is very limited ways of keeping things private and it certainly has changed how we function today as we grow up.

  3. I agree with what you summarized from Boyd that there is a huge disconnect between most peoples online identity and your true identity. Think about the classic joke about two people meeting for the first time who had met from an online dating service website, and these people end up looking completely different from the picture that they had posted online. We build ourselves up online and are given the opportunity to experiment with different version of our true identity but in reality these are fictional characters and don’t truly represent who we really are. Similarly to yourself I am somewhat of a minimalist when it comes to sharing information online. i definitely don’t post what I’m eating for dinner or the fact that I just had the biggest scare of my life finding a gigantic spider showering with me. But I do enjoy posting pictures of myself or (significant/interesting) events I experience in my life. I used this example in my blog post but there are times where I do want to post pictures of myself in my bikini, drinking (maybe a little too much) and being generally silly and having a good time while on vacation. All of those aspects would be totally inappropriate if seen by my coworkers or boss. But I find it very handy that I can share these pictures with people who want to see them and would not be able to see them otherwise. Many of my friends have moved out west and if it weren’t for social media and my ability to quickly and easily share information about my personal life with them I probably wouldn’t have kept in touch with most of them over the years. So I find it an impossible juggling act of wanting to share, but being afraid to share information online because of the permanent nature of the internet.
    By the way, I as well am disgusted at the gadgets young people have these days. It’s very unnecessary, and although sure it may help them gain skills such as organization, I never had any technology until half way through high school and I still developed all required skills just fine!

  4. Social media has both its good and bad sides, just like anything else. It must be used appropriately and within moderation. Social media can be good to build networks, which can be effective in the future. You must know people to get anywhere now. Thinking about things before you say them, is not necessarily a bad thing until you come face-to-face and cannot apply it. On the downside, it takes away the opportunities to build our in-person communication.
    Privacy is a huge issue in today’s society. Many are not yet aware of the affects it may have, and some are just ignorant to it. It needs to be more widely spread of the complications it can have for personal safety, and future opportunities that may be ruined by a past reputation.

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