Are our private lives really private?

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Haley James

More stories from Haley James

Taking a toll
May 23, 2019
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Are our private lives really private?

“Private eyes, watching you.”  Although when the song was popular 30 years ago, eerily, today its lyrics ring true.  If you have ever felt like someone is watching you, the chances are that someone is. Public social media accounts open up a world of opportunity for people to do whatever they please on someone else’s page. Whether it is your Instagram, Twitter, or Snapchat, people can always view your posts. From rude comments to screenshots, no one is safe. Keeping social media on “public,” is not worth it.

Even though social media offers an option to keep a profile private, fewer people are using it.  The more followers you have, the better, and people leave their accounts available to anyone and everyone. This makes it easy for anyone to follow your location and look further into your personal life. There are some things you should keep private, and social media is one of those things. The dangers greatly outweigh the “bonus” of having a few extra followers.  Think of it like this:  would you leave your car unlocked or walk away from home with your front door wide open?

“I think kids should be educated about the dangers of social media. They should have the choice about whether to have it private or not but should face the consequences nonetheless,” Sydney McCready, freshman, said.

Whatever you like and whomever you are following will eventually be known by others. Potential employers routinely look into your social media, and over half of hiring managers reconsider a candidate because of what they find online. Know that once you post something, it is there forever even if you have your account set to private.  Nothing you delete is really gone for good. Before you post a racy picture of yourself, or retweet something that borders on offensive, think about who is going to see it and whether you really want that stuck to your reputation.

Public social media accounts are becoming a trend, and fewer people are keeping their information locked up. Some sources of media are also more commonly protected than others. For example, over half of teens on Facebook keep their profiles protected, but sixty-four percent of teens on Twitter make their profiles public.

The pressure of meeting everyone’s standards weighs heavily when first creating an account. Social media also leads to things like photo-shopping bodies to pull in more likes and adoring comments. People can even get away with anonymously ridiculing others which opens a new door for bullying.

The bottom line is there should not be a need to fix a photo in order to impress others. There is no reason to post about how much you hate your mom, or how horribly your day went. Keeping accounts protected is the first step to keeping yourself safe from creeps and people who have nothing better to do then harass you.

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