What is private on social media? The quick answer to this is nothing. 

The idea that any part of social media is private or anonymous is completely false. We can easily see that in many groups we are a part of. Social media has created a sense of family, or close-knit friends, that you believe would never tell your darkest secrets. The problem is what looms in the groups can be something completely different. 

Just like with anything there is always a potential for a bad seed and as the groups get larger there is more of a risk that someone in that close-knit family is there for the wrong reasons. While sometimes it truly is a bad seed, it may be someone trying to help, while not understanding the consequences you are about to face. 

When “Jenny” is discussing her problems with her relationship that is not an open invitation to report this back to her husband. While it may be irresponsible of “Jenny” to state this, during an emotional time common sense usually flies out the window. 

Admins have been trying to fix this

Admins have been trying to go around this issue by letting people post anonymously but it can take a few days, and without the instantaneous result, many people don’t take advantage of this option. Either they are so frustrated or upset with what has happened that they just want their story out there and they don’t want to wait for the admin to post. But they can also be so frustrated that they don’t care anymore. That is, they don’t care until their dirty laundry is spread to the wrong person.

Recently, there have been more instances of people having their posts “screenshot” and shared without permission. While this is a “big no-no” in all groups, it still happens and we all have seen it. 

Social media is exactly what it states: A social environment where your whole life is displayed. So that post where you were looking for guidance and comfort will be put out to the world, just like you were a movie star on TMZ. 

Once you hit “Post”, it is live and never deleted. You never know who will see, who will screenshot or who called someone up to tell them. While we state this is horrible and shouldn’t be done, everyone is guilty. 

How do we stop this or how can we feel secure? 

Social media has been great to be able to keep us in touch with people, to advertise your newest adventure and to make you feel like you have a connection to other people. The problem is, you should never post anything you don’t want your grandmother to know about. Sometimes you have to keep things private and in your own home. 

Have we become so computerized that we need the reaction of others through the internet to feel that bond between people? These days are very different from when we grew up, where we ran outside while our parents hung out with other adults. Now we get our human fix online, typing, or talking on video chat. We don’t develop the relationships like we as previously did.

Is this why we are spilling all of our private lives to the world?

On the flip side, people need to actually be adults, understand that when someone just needs a place to talk it doesn’t mean you should show their boss, show their spouse or the licensing board. You need to respect people and realize that you are not going through what they are right now. 

So how can we continue to keep our lives private? 

When it comes to the internet being so available, you can’t.

 

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