When online, you can be who you want to be, the problem today is that everyone is putting themselves out there for anyone to see.
Log into Facebook and scroll through your friends list, I’m willing to bet that many users display their hometown, phone number, place of work and various other pieces of information that aren’t appropriate for everyone to see. Many are unaware of various privacy options and leave their profiles open for public perusal and to prying companies scouring social profiles for commercial gain.
Social media is important for both socialising of the individual and the networking purposes of businesses and plays a big role in people’s daily lives, the danger lies in users paying with their privacy.
Becoming addicted to sites such as Facebook and Twitter is also problem, it gives corporations more and more advertising power and hackers more information to work with.
Concerns over privacy on Facebook has prompted a high number of ‘Virtual Identity Suicides’, meaning that more people are deleting their accounts. It has become apparent that users are becoming concerned with privacy since stories such as WikiLeaks became public. Users have become more alert as to how easy it is to obtain personal information and have since become increasingly absent from social media sites in a bid to protect their identities.
I do not believe that social networking is sinister, I view that it is important for individuals who are interested in keeping up-to-date with friends living elsewhere and businesses concerned with keeping up with competitors.
I recommend scrolling through your privacy settings on social media sites and changing these to ‘friends only’ and making sure you do not display your private details unknowingly.
Alongside privacy concerns, the more socially active we become online, the more anonymous and withdrawn we seem to be becoming in everyday life outside of the screen, so watch your behaviours, don’t spend too much time in front of the screen, get out and socialise!