Think Before You Post

When I hear the words “online visibility” I automatically think of people seeing something that I wouldn’t want them seeing. This associated thought is weird, however, because after careful examination of all my online profiles I can assure myself that I’m (still) ok with anyone seeing anything that I have shared online. I guess that’s because I only share what I’d want EVERYONE to see. I know all online platforms have privacy settings that you can customize, whether it’s to make your posts private or block specific people like your boss, siblings or parents from seeing certain material. However, making online posts private really means something like “kind of, sort of private…for now..” at most. This is because there’s always things that people can do to make all your “private” and even deleted material viewable again. I’ve always made sure to ask myself “would I be ok with everyone seeing this?…Mom, dad, potential company recruiter?” before posting things on the internet. My online profiles reflect me and my interests, so my Instagram and Facebook are just pictures and posts related to music, pop culture, traveling, food, work, family and a few selfies here and there. I never show or say too much, just enough.

 

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4 Comments

  1. I’m also very cautious about every post I make for the reasons you mentioned. I started my ‘internet life’ as a kid who was happy to share almost anything with strangers on the internet but as I was growing up, I kind of started to understand the whole concept of privacy and I started to delete the information about me I deliberately posted before. However, the one thing that changed my perception was my classmate who was a computer nerd and he once said, ‘Oh hey, you know what? You remember that school concert in December in grade 5? The one where you played Winnie-the-Pooh? I was bored so I managed to get the website’s archives and I found that photo.’ I was mad at first because that photo shouldn’t have existed in the first place but then I felt terrified because he was like 16 or something and he could perform such an action. This is when I realised that ‘once it’s on the internet, it’s there forever’ is 100% true and you should think a few times before posting anything at all. Even if you post something quite innocent, you never know how it’s going to turn out in a few years time.

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  2. You bring up a very good point. Many of my profiles are also set to public, if I am posting things for my friends to see why would I have a problem showing them to my family or co-workers. When I first started using social media sites I didn’t want to be friends with my parents, but as I grew older I realised there really wasn’t much to hide. I’m not the type of person who will post revealing images or vulgar statuses, so why not put my profile on public? I feel that my profiles reflect my personality and show potential employers things that they can’t see from my CV, like the fact that I am family-orientated, sociable and love to travel. This could further my future job applications rather than affect them.

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  3. I like the point you make about not saying too much but just enough. I think this sentiment is one that should be celebrated and shared when constructing an online identity. Some would argue that maybe this isn’t a full version of who we are in real life, or a completely authentic and transparent representation of ourselves if we are holding back. However, at what point did users decide that we needed to be complete versions of ourselves online? I think it’s a balanced approach, to post and participate in these networks, but to also reserve some beliefs and certain content for the real world, where we have more control over how things are translated and percieved.

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  4. I think having an online presence that reflects who you are can be very useful. Especially for jobs in the media industry I am under the impression that they might use your social media sites to make judgements on your character before you even get the interview. Showing that you are a fun and interesting person can be to your advantage. Not even mentioning the benefit of making friendships and other connections. However, you are right; you have to act as your own editor and monitor how you appear to others online.

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