Where has our precious privacy gone? With the advent of texting, tweeting, Facebook, and Instagram—to name a few social platforms—we journalize to the public from the time we wake up until we’re nodding off at night. Is it so important to publicize what I had for lunch or my opinion of the latest movie release? Maybe not, but sharing my opinions and thoughts with my immediate friends is important, and I likewise value their opinions, admittedly more than those of the 4,000+ Facebook followers who don’t really know or understand me.
I have a prediction for the future: Generations to come will go to great lengths to regain the privacy we have given away so freely. Let’s face the fact that corporations like Facebook and Google have more images and content from our private lives than we would prefer. Privacy is a precious commodity that we protect and value. Online discussions of personal medical issues, for example, can detrimentally affect one’s professional future. Photos from one’s sixteenth birthday night—or from a fraternity party otherwise forgotten by all attendees—could show up on a potential employer’s background check and be taken out of context. Even the sister of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg recently cried foul after some photos she posted on a Facebook page she thought was private somehow propagated through the blogosphere.
Privacy settings are a moving target and porous at best on any given day. Anything we post on a social site is a published document that will outlive all of us. We need to remember that and be more prudent in what we put out there. The intimate details of our lives should be known only by us and our close friends and loved ones.
Author: Donald O’Connell