To Be or Not to Be…Private?

The private versus not private argument in the role of social media is a hard concept for me to deal with. It is clear that we attempt to believe for the most part that what we are posting with all the various privacy settings is only being shared with those we think we know. However, from my experience, what we believe to be private or confidential is often open and available without our knowledge. Reading Beth’s Blog reminded me that there are always ways to get around privacy that we sometimes forget like our “friends” sharing private information or photos about us.

I was deeply affected by this realization last year when a photo that I took of one of my kids via cell phone tagged on Facebook. A friend called me and asked “Hey..isn’t that D?”. Talk about upset? I could not understand how did something I share with family only reach hundreds of people with plenty of comments. My belief in privacy disappeared.  What picture lost my belief in privacy? See Below…

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D’s Fun Ride 2009

This is my son. After an eventful car ride home one afternoon, he got a hold of his baby bag and proceeded to powder himself. The thought that my child’s picture was out and available for anyone to see via Facebook shocked me to no end. I began messaging the person who posted the picture and tagged his friends with no response in attempts to identify how he got the picture. A picture that I took in 2009. The idea that something private I shared with family was posted by some random person proved to me that not everything we think is private really is. I am normally a very careful and private person. I have seperate facebook pages on purpose in order to ensure that only those I really trust have access to anything I post. And even then, no one will every be able to say I posted anything too wild and crazy because my cautioness and my upbringing dictate there is such a thing as keeping parts of your life personal and private.

So just how did that random guy get access to this picture? After much research, I found out that my brother had the picture in a Facebook album that some guy he was “friends” with went back  in an old album and found and posted it. Privacy is not private…although we like to believe that with all the settings we create for our social media accounts make a difference. There is always some way to get around them. Suffice to say my brother is banned from getting any future funny family photos but he defintely is now more cautious with his selection of friends. And so am I (Although I did consider unfriending my brother).

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One thought on “To Be or Not to Be…Private?

  1. Good example. Do you think we are in the position where we should only share what we would say or show in public? It’s an interesting question.

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