Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Extinction of Privacy and Social Networking Sites

My relationship with social networking sites is turning into a mixture of more hate, and less love. As an introvert, the overload of information that hits my brain already causes a slight buzz. However with all the extra TMI pieces that come my way, that buzz turns into a unpleasant hangover headache. From my Facebook feed, to Twitter and the images on Instagram, lately my response to what I see is to scratch my head, and mutter "What the heck??".

It's not that I'm only seeing ratchet, coontastic things on my timeline, but more so the play by play of someone's drama, the checking into various places that most people other than yourself don't need to know (or even care about). Do you really think someone cares that you are at your Gynecologist appointment? Do we really want to see your girl half naked, cooking up a meal for you? Better yet, do we really want to know about your beef with your baby's father via text gram on Instagram? Heck. No. I get it though, you're expressing yourself, showing us the things you like/dislike. And maybe I really don't have the right to get mad at what people post; especially when it's easy to unfollow. However I am just super confused as to how social networking sites have become this platform where there is more airing of (dirty) laundry than actual networking and positive exchange of information.

It's just a thought, but possibly this whole popularity contest of sorts is one of the problems? With the number of "friends", "followers" or "likes" being used to validate how important folks think they are on these sites, it only makes sense as to why people post the things they do. With a large audience watching and having access to your timeline 24/7, you can't post "lame" stuff now can you? Because of this audience, it seems to me that privacy doesn't exist because everything posted is/has to be entertainment (whether the sender realizes it or not). There is an invisible pressure to turn the camera on to your own life and over share the things that are happening, along and your thoughts on it. Now, it's one thing to get paid to have your life out there on a high exposure level, but when you're just a regular local person, the TMI, WTF?!? postings aren't as cute and impressive as you think they are. 

While social networking sites are multiple platforms and stages for us to host our own personal shows of our choice, it doesn't mean one should use it as such. And if one is going to put on a show, those in the audience should be given a choice in whether they have to watch it. Why a choice? To be honest, from where I'm sitting in the audience and from where I've been, I know that not everyone really cares about your personal issues all of the time. In my opinion, these sites really need to go back and operate in the way it was originally planned. They should only be used to promote useful information, spreading knowledge of projects/events, and of course allowing you to meet new people. 

What are your thoughts? Have social networking sites gotten a bit out of control? When it comes to privacy, does it still exist among all generations? 

The piece above is crossposted from her site. Feel free to interact with her on twitter at @tiarahdenise.

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