Is Privacy Dead?
It is probably pretty amusing for someone who works with social media daily talk about how it can ruin privacy. But it can. Where do we draw the line with what to share? I am a firm believer in social media. I use it every day for my work and my personal life. But how do you know when it is too much information?
The creation of social media has done so many great things over its short life-span. Everything from sharing recipes to learning how to put something together to connecting to people who you haven’t seen in ages to government overthrows and more! The sky really is the limit. I think it is great for so many things. But it does expose more of our lives than we previously shared. Now, all I have to do is login to my Facebook page and I can see what one friend bought at the grocery store. Another friend is updating about a sick family member. Another has a new job and is moving. Another is getting divorced. I can see all of the important and mundane things in their lives from a little app on my phone.
I was talking with a friend the other day about kids and Facebook. She regularly updates her Facebook page with pictures of her kids and their accomplishments. She’s a proud mom- and for good reason! Her kids are happy, healthy and loved. But do they want pictures of themselves on the internet that could be found by future employers, romantic partners, or worse? Probably not. And these pictures are all geo-tagged (just look on your iPhone and it shows to the house number where the picture was taken in the world) so in the event these photos get out, anyone can see who it is, where they live, what they like and more.
Is it an invasion of our kids privacy to document their whole lives online without their consent? As parents, we are all obviously proud of our children and what they are doing. It is a miracle when they smile their first smile, when they finally learn how to use the toilet and when they go off to pre-school. I take thousands of pictures of my daughter and I’ll text them to various family members and friends. But you won’t see my daughter online until she is old enough to make that choice for herself. She’s not old enough to understand the implications of being too exposed on the internet. As a parent, it is my job to protect her from that.
Whether I am posting for one of my clients or I am posting on my own page, I like to post things that get people talking. Or at least makes them laugh. Be engaging. Talk to your audience. Ask questions that people will want to answer. But don’t give it all away. You want to have some kind of mystery about yourself. And unless my grocery shopping is remarkable, chances are you probably don’t care to see it either.
How do you feel about keeping parts of your life private online?
Adam is a web developer and tech guru at Convergent1.