One of the topics we discussed in this module that really allowed for self reflection and real life application was: online visibility. Having grown up with social media and experienced the rise and fall of several platforms (RIP myspace) I think that my generation has a unique handle on the internet. In some ways we have control over what stays and what goes, we decide what we want in the online sphere and what we don’t want. However, what I have come to realize, with a greater understanding of the “networked self,” is that we usually only get this at a cost. This price comes in many shapes and forms – sacrificing privacy, or risking falling victim to the chilling effect, and countless other regulatory consequences.
As the policies, terms and conditions, and algorithms that dictate our FaceBook activity change at a rapid pace we are no longer in control of the image of ourself that we aim to shape online – defeating the purpose of partaking in social media and having a sense of control over your identity and your networked self.
The video below, by Nick Briz, a new media artist, educator and activist, is a personal essay of sorts and tutorial on how to leave FaceBook because of these costs. As someone who has only had a FaceBook for a few months (but plans of deleting it once I get back the U.S.) I definitely understand the convenience and the entertainment value associated with the platform. But I strongly encourage you to watch the full video and take into consideration what you are giving to Facebook (and more importantly what they are doing with it) in exchange for online visibility. Is it worth it?