There can be no expectation that you will achieve privacy on Facebook. There will always be some new development that exposes parts of your recorded life there. That’s just the way online presences work. Facebook will always be updating, rearranging and changing this massive beast they have created and a symptom of that will be items and people that fall through the cracks they thought were protecting them.
I read a USA Today article a long time ago about the actress that portrayed Bella in the Twilight series. She talked in detail about the state of exposure back then and it holds even truer today;
“Everyone is complicit in their own surveillance, especially young people, who chronicle their lives obsessively, maybe seeking validation, which is still no easier to find.”
I love the phrase “complicit in their own surveillance”!
Are you complicit in your own surveillance?
I know sometimes I hesitate about putting my location up there on social media. I have a couple of friends on Facebook that are also friends with someone that I would prefer not know my personal business. So I utilize the Privacy functions as often as possible.
Even with those safeguards, the creeps will always find a way back into your yard. When your Facebook page becomes an open channel for mean people, stalker-ex-girlfriends, relatives needing a loan or just your general flame throwers, then it’s time to wonder if you’ve become overexposed on Facebook.
I watch as people dear to me post their innermost thoughts, fears and daily experiences and sometimes I cringe. Some of these written confessions are made of stuff that other people, more evil than my friends, will race to find a way to use to their advantage.
I see people accepting new friend requests from individuals that I know want nothing more than a window of voyeurism so they can watch and perhaps report back to someone else. Should I be more responsible for my friends? Should I speak up and say “Hey, you really want to steer clear of this person and I’ll tell you why.”?? Or do I remain silent and allow my friends to find out for themselves?
Where is that line drawn?
When do I become less of a messenger and more of a harbinger?
And Kristen continues;
“You’re so connected to people and they all know how to get to you, and everyone knows who you are, so explicitly. They think they know you. It’s like, ‘You really think you know me? I don’t know me! How do you know I’m not different around someone else?’ ” Her voice gets a little loud, and she slumps back in her chair.
“It almost makes the secrets more important, those few things you actually do choose to keep to yourself,” she says quietly.”
Now this is a young woman who has already come to terms with this beast…Social Media.
She is absolutely correct. No one on here truly knows the other unless they have constant ties outside of this series of electronic pages. People on here can present any front they wish and embellish with great enthusiasm. There’s no law against telling lies and even though being a complete fake is against Facebook policy, they rarely enforce it.
As I ponder my own contribution to the cyber garbage can with my myriad of Pictures and Status Updates, as I express my own opinion in the most honest way possible with Comments and Postings, as I attempt to bring a smile to someone’s face or let someone on there know they are in my thoughts, or as I cultivate a new friendship within the confines of my own Facebook existence, I will consider my actions with more care from now on.
When you sign up for a social media account, you are becoming complicit in your own surveillance. You can take steps to warn folks not to comment on public photos if you want to protect your friends, or just don’t post anything you’d be embarrassed if it got out, but do not try to shame or chastise those of us that believe in the freedom of expression.
Kristen Stewart, though I do not know her and she is not one of my friends on Facebook, has shared with all of us the greatest truth here; there are few things in life so precious and important, as protecting your special secrets. The truths in all of our lives that give constant meaning to why we wake up every morning and live life to the fullest. Those are the ones not meant for a meaningless empty Comment box, they are the ones worth holding close to our hearts.
thank you Kristen.