Do We Really Care About Our Privacy?

I live in a society where the standard norm is to post your life online, and demand your privacy, too.

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Photo Credit: Des Model: Shayla Mazie

You had a shit week. Since midday Wednesday you started counting the seconds until 5:00 PM on Friday. Your boss bitched you out about how multitasking twenty projects at once, working overtime on salary pay and not immediately responding to a company email sent out at midnight just isn’t good enough for him.

You’re fairly certain you’re going to warp and die with each tick of the clock and then finally, Friday is here. You decide to go out with your friends to the latest hot spot, throw back a few cocktails and let off some steam.

Somewhere around your third pint of beer it hits you. You should take a selfie of yourself chugging it down, with 80 random strangers in the background and load it up to Instagram with the hashtag #weekend.

Did you ask permission from those random people standing in the background to post a photo of them for potentially all of cyberspace to see? No? Oh. You violated their privacy.

So don’t bitch about any aspect of yours when it comes to social media.

For over a year now there has been a consistent flow of news floating around about Facebook and Zuckerberg’s latest scandal on user data. I’m not sure of all the details because I’m doing my best to avoid it. I did hand feed Facebook my information, after all. What did I expect?

Then there’s an irrational amount of ‘investigative journalism’ and ‘opinion’ pieces on Zuck, because now this is a problem? Not only has Facebook been screwing us on our privacy for who knows how long, now congress cares about our best interest. Or, a piece of the profit.

A business or organization manipulating the people in order to stuff their bank account. It’s shocking something like this would go on here in America. Whoa. And, then we, the ones who feed off the media, do this thing — OMG! WTF! And, Gasp!

Really?

It’s easier to point fingers and place blame than it is to face the truth and the truth is, Facebook wouldn’t have my information or my friend’s information, or their friend’s information if we’d never had given it to them.

When starting a new account on any platform who reads all 400 pages of the tiniest print known to man before selecting the box , “I agree to the terms and conditions?”

Any tech giant (or midget) could claim anything and we wouldn’t know the difference. We’d have zero argument and zero evidence to go back and say, “Hey! You screwed me!”

Not to mention, if we genuinely cared about our privacy why are we even on social media posting our lives on the daily?

It’s okay when we choose to do it but when it’s chosen for us it’s just not cool. This concept is especially confusing given the role of a Social Media Analyst is to track the patterns of your behavior so marketers can manipulate you into buying shit and sway your political opinions.

Facebook is not a free to use platform. In fact, it’s cost millions of users their personal data. It affected the same millions of people who willingly shared the data in their account settings or posted it for public display.

Once you put something on the internet it’s there forever. Deleting it serves no purpose, we’ve recently, and unfortunately learned this from a shooting in New Zealand

It only takes one user to see it and setting your profile to private doesn’t make a difference. Thanks to the screen shot option on every type of tech capable device there’s no such thing as “friends only” privacy.

And maybe that’s something I’ll take into consideration the next time I post a photo of my latte no one else cares about.

We won’t stop using social media, (at least 9 out of every 10 of us won’t) including myself because it’s a part of every fiber of us being human. Facebook knows that. So does Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and a plethora of other social media websites.

It’s become a way of life.

Not only am I totally jealous of your new handbag but also, this is what I ate for lunch today.

We live in a time where babies are born connected to the internet. Chances are they’ve made a social media appearance within the first few hours of their life (thanks, mom!). My teenage children are of a generation labeled IGen.

Social media is not a privilege, nor is it an expectation. In 2019 it’s the standard norm.

As a writer I need social media.

I need to share my work via social media. I need to get my name out there via social media. I need to network via social media. The only way to be successful as any type of creator is to gain a massive following over a vast range of social media platforms. Social media tells us, without social media our hopes and dreams are basically dead and we suck.

As a generalization, we don’t care about our privacy.

For real, tho. Click share and sit back and watch the likes and comments roll in.

Newspaper reporter in Eastern Iowa. The views expressed are mine alone.

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