Is Social Media Privacy A Myth

Social Media is an ultimate equaliser. It gives a voice and a platform to anyone willing to engage. It is not just a spoke on the wheel of marketing, rather it is becoming the way entire bicycles are built. Social Media affects our lifestyle to a great extent. In no time everyone will be victimized with their personal information. Passwords can be hacked; someone might even be using your credit card online, and you have no idea. In the coming years, it is going to be much harder for us to disconnect our online and offline lives. Privacy is not something that we humans, as social animals, are entitled to; it is an absolute prerequisite.

Something as harmless as a picture of a baby in a tub is open to trading online by paedophiles. The world is changing. Social Media has managed to create an environment where it is a perceived duty to expose yourself. Aptly said, “Privacy is dead, and Social Media holds the Smoking Gun.”

The most ironical advantage of Social Media is that it is the easiest place to go to find something.

 

Love or Hate Social Media?

People can comment on anything they want to. The negative comments also contribute to the online persona of the influencer. What here is to underline is that these commentators do not want to criticize or give critical feedback on a video or post. They are just anonymous trolls hiding behind anonymity. Moreover, one can not control their online persona or how others want to see them. This is because the onlookers and trolls get to contribute to it. Thus, the relationship with social media is an intermingle between love and hate. Social Media gives you the power to be available to anyone anywhere. However, in a world where information is universally accessible, social media lets people get to you. So how do we control our online privacy?

The Online Exchange

The fine line between our online and offline lives is blurring with each passing day. Our privacy and control over who we are and how we want others to see us are substantially disappearing. For a fact, we all know nothing comes free. There is an evident value exchange for every free app that we use. Be it Whats-app, Instagram, YouTube, or whatsoever every app takes something in exchange for our desired social image.

By agreeing to the terms and conditions of a social media network, websites, and mobile applications, you grant permissions to their owners to collect, process, and sell personal details. These are inclusive of the information you provide, upload data confirming containing information regarding your geo-location. This can help people track you down. Moreover, if you google for a certain thing on the web, then you start getting customised ads and you receive youtube recommendations in accordance to it. In fact, the online shopping apps are customised based on this data.

Social Game OF control

Our information is collected, stored and shared to companies around. Well we all agreed to it when we hit accept on some privacy policy somewhere. So no matter how in control you think you are of your privacy, you are not. You do not actually own your Facebook profile or your photos there. Google scans all of your G mails. Your Iphone knows exactly where you are at all times, even when you have location services turned off. However, we need not be afraid of Google, or Apple, or Facebook. For the most part, we agreed for them to take the information on that privacy policy and we know what these companies are and what they do. However, what one needs to be afraid of is that anonymous villain. The ones who make threats, the company you might have never heard of. 

The Trail of Breadcrumbs

Everything you do online, your social media activity leaves behind a breadcrumb. This is a piece of you. You might be sitting there and saying, I do not care and I am so boring. However, what about your name? Your searches? The wedding rings, pregnancy, or even divorce? What about those videos you watch? What about the private support groups for addiction, cancer or religion? It is so personal. One can take your online information and combine it with the offline data and thus create a pretty massive dossier about you. Does that scare you know? The villains hide behind anonymity and this leads to a great deal of disclosure about your personal and private lives. 

Evidently, we can not definitely be in total control of the digital footprint we leave behind. However, we can at least care to know the aftermaths. We have not yet demanded the control of your online persona. These companies think that we do not even bother with these actions. However, we do know that we can result in companies changing their policies just by our reactions. The least we can do is to become trustworthy humans as part of this online global community. Know that behind every tweet, every blog post, every comment and even troll, there is a human. So next time you witness an online harassment, are you going to ignore it, and let it bother you? Or are you going to reply back and fight? Or are you going to notice it, report the abuse and stop it. The choice is yours.

 

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