Are you wondering about privacy and social media?

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.”Β 

I love the phrase “complicit in their own surveillance”!

Are you complicit in your own surveillance? Β 

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.

About Madeline Scribes

A writer with a sense of humor. If anyone can laugh at life, it's me.
This entry was posted in All kinds of Advice, Facebook Advice and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Are you wondering about privacy and social media?

  1. Trapped Ape says:

    “Complicit in their own surveillance.” So true. Like a tattoo, your online confessions/advertisements are there to stay. I have a nephew that sported long spiked green hair for about a year while in college. He blogged and socialized profusely. He got involved in student government and so appeared in numerous campus newspaper articles that way. He partied, he appeared in friends’ blogs doing so. Some of them were smashed; by implication, he was too. He has struggled to find a job. Did prospective employers google him? You bet they did–the smarter ones anyway.

    On the positive side, you can tell that he’s really smart and thoughtful. He probably blogged as much as he wrote papers. In a way, he went to college twice. If I needed a capable, independent thinker, I’d hire him in a minute. But I know him better than those employers. He mostly works as a bee keeper right now, in a place where they make beer and mead and have a good time when things aren’t busy. It’s ok. He’s just not on his way to becoming a lawyer like he’d hoped.

    As some here may note, I’m doing a little experiment with anonymity right now, contributing some pieces for Spread Information. Musings, self-reflection, some personal stuff. Only a couple of my real friends know my true identity as Trapped Ape. As such, I know I don’t have *complete* anonymity. But it’s been liberating and fun. I decided that you *do* have to stick your neck out a bit here and there if you’re going to be who you really are. It may be that we’re entering an era of lost privacy. Sure there are some very anonymous realms on the Internet, but it’s also an era where immense corporations like Facebook and Google and countless nameless ones almost know you better than you know yourself–in some ways. Think about it.


  2. Pingback: Are you seeking Validation on Facebook? | Madeline Scribes

  3. Paula says:

    I used to worry about privacy, but it’s actually the last thing that concerns me these days. It’s TOTALLY out of my control. To me, implying I have privacy is a fallacy. I have ZERO…on- or off-line. The only action I can take to guarantee privacy is to disconnect from society and all technology, quit my job, sell my home, live in a tent or cave, grow my own food, home school my children (the same children I will birth in a grass hut in the middle of a deserted island), and be totally unafraid when and if I am discovered to be…well…human. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    • LOL!!!! All true! Privacy exists in your own bathroom…and that’s about it.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Paula says:

        Exactly!! And I would like to point out – although I think I share a significant amount of stuff going on inside my head on social media, there’s so much more I don’t share because I haven’t quite made sense of what it’s supposed to mean. Maybe that’s the point of sharing online…to help us make sense of stuff based on feedback and responses from others. Who knows? But the world is definitely shifting and awakening, I think. We’re becoming so much more connected and aware of our humanity thanks to blog platforms and social media. We may not know “the people” behind the keyboards, but we DEFINITELY discover new things about ourselves thanks to what “the people” behind the keyboards share with us. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 2 people

      • I agree!

        Here’s an example of what I have learned through sharing on a blog:

        My husband worked with this person back in Texas and she spent a lot of her time at work, writing in her blog. I later found out her blog was a series of fantasies about me and my husband. It was devastating to read so many hate filled and angry entries, all public and every one of them identifying my husband and I as her subjects. I was so angry.

        Because I read her writing and confronted her with it, she accused me of stalking her and said I read something that was none of my business. Really? Then why put it in the public domain and ask for people to subscribe to your blog, people that included some of my own friends and colleagues? Which is who showed it to me.

        Today I think about what she wrote and her reaction to being busted and I actually feel sorry for her. I understand and can empathize with the dark and lonely place she was and I wonder if she was ever able to pull herself back up.

        While I can feel that for her and what she did, my strong and healthy personal boundaries would never allow me to let someone like her into my life ever again.

        Both of those reactions are due to people I have connected with in the blogosphere and you are one of them, Paula. You’ve taught me a lot about myself and how I want to live. Thank you πŸ™‚

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Paula says:

    Thank you!! I learn from you, too. πŸ™‚ But wow! OMG! I can’t even imagine discovering writing online about me like that. But here’s the thing: you and your husband inspired her to express herself. She discovered a “gift”, although misguided. And I GUARANTEE she learned something about how and when to express herself in a more productive and non-harming way after you called her out.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Toortsie says:

    Thank you for reminding us!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love Facebook privacy. People get all these ‘friends’ then selectively set settings to decide who can see what, then go and post unbelievable amounts of dribble and expect people to tell them how good it is. Then they have all these ‘private’ chats with people they expect no one else can see only to find their friends share the crap anyway.

    FB is no different to real life, some people sprout shit no one else wants to hear, some people spread shit, and at the end of the day people get all bent out shape when it happens. Only real difference is you can unfriend people or ‘hide’ them on FB in real life most people don’t do this because they’ve got other uses for them.

    Strangely enough I find family the worst for this kind of behaviour.

    I miss the old days of computers where people were scared of being online and they actually treated it carefully, now days they are only scared after it’s too late and they expect the world to feel sorry for them because they are the innocent victim of not protecting themselves.

    Liked by 1 person

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