A while back when people first realized that their ‘privacy’ was compromised on social networks such as facebook and Myspace, I laughed and called them idiots. A few years after people started realizing that their employers and potential employers were including social media in their background checks and thus began several things: (1) the removal of any and all pictures and bits of information that didn’t seem appropriate and (2) the actual use of privacy controls. At that time I still laughed, gave a shrug and called them idiots.
Now I stand as a graduate taking steps into “the real world” and I had that voice inside me say…
Oh shit! Your twitter feed is just music and game achievements; your foursquare has you checked-in at bars, venues, and hipster-esque restaurants; Your Readernaut mainly houses gay literature and design books; your instagram displays random landscapes and random boys and your pet dog; your tumblr is filled with Will & Grace tributes, half-naked (if not naked) men, video games, anime, and other geeky things; and you even have risque photographs of yourself up!
Could all those people be right in their worry / fear of having their entire life on display online?
The really short answer: Nope.
The long answer…
A little over four years ago when I first joined facebook (only after getting accepted into college), I posted updates like no one else’s business. I did not care that friends or family may potentially see something I posted with, in fact I kind of thrived on it causing some form of conversation (and really, just wanting attention as an adolescent). As I started to be tagged in photographs, I was faced with my first dilemma: I AM NOT A COMPLETELY PHOTOGENIC PERSON! Some photos of me look completely fucking awful. People of course said I could just un-tag myself but I thought about it and realized how defeating that would be. It’s unnatural to think every photo of me is going to be glamorous, so let’s mix in the good and the bad, the pretty and the ugly (and the fugly).
When privacy became an issue for the first time and people complained about facebook, the very first thought that came to mind was: Don’t publish shit you don’t want seen. Over the years this mentality became: If you actively publish something, you are giving up your rights to/of privacy. I still hold onto that. If I post it online, I’m losing my right for it to stay private. Of course you can delete it and remove most of it from the interwebs but it is still out there somewhere…hiding!
I guess the point of all of this is: Let’s. Get. Real.
I can’t say that these actions don’t define who I am because they do to some extent. What I can say however is that if you judge me based off what I post on social networks, you are judging only the surface of my being.
I am not your ideal model citizen. I have no desire to run for office or hold any political power. I am a normal person in a very radical, awkward and fast-changing world. I have done drugs (note what tense I used there), I drink like any other (okay to be honest I’m probably the shittiest drinker you know) and I have sex like any other. I have an opinion and unlike others I like to voice it.
What I aspire to do in life is change and contribute. I want to help shape the world we live in and I want to contribute as much as I can and want. I am a hard-worker and I am a passionate person. I think I’m pretty out-going and have a charismatic air about me. I am curious and I like to solve problems and tinker with concepts and objects. I am still young and I believe I have much to learn and I am willing and striving for it.