With the increased use of technology, people are always interconnected, so much so that they tweet and text more than they talk and communicate. This idea can be better reiterated by a quote made by Sherry Turkle. Ms Turkle states that “human relationships are rich, and they’re messy and they’re demanding. And we clean them up with technology. We sacrifice conversation for mere connection.” When I read this quote it really spoke to me. The truth of the matter is that the majority of us are so absorbed into our social persona that we forget about the joys of human interactions.
Nowadays, people are notified of what is going on their friends lives through social media. Although this may prove to be beneficial in the way it updates your close friends and family about you and everything about you, it can be considered a very different issue when it comes to how much information is exposed to the general public. If I received a nickel for the amount of times that I’ve been the victim of receiving too much information… well, let’s just say I’d be well off.
The majority of how I hear information about someone is through the internet. The majority of information I hear are things that I do not need to know. Chadgaleblog also spoke about this issue and we share a similar viewpoint on the matter. I like the way he summed it up, saying that “some aspects of our lives are meant to be kept to ourselves and amongst our close friends and relatives, not put all over the internet in 140 characters or less.” This makes me think… whatever happened to the days when privacy was considered sacred? We are so far along in this new technologically driven society that we need to establish some ground rules to help preserve the sanctity of our private lives so that we don’t end up doing or sharing something we would later regret.
“I’ve learned that the little devices most of us carry around are so powerful that they change not only what we do, but also who we are” – Sherry Turkle. With the convenience of always having access to keep in touch with the world 24/7, it is understandable why people give into the temptation of sharing everything. However, actions made in cyberspace cannot be reversed once made. There have been many examples of tragedies caused by overexposure online, including the recent tragedy involving Amanda Todd. We all know the story: young girl makes one mistake online, others don’t let her forget it and bully her because of it, she feels trapped and subsequently commits suicide. The poor girl got caught up in the moment and made one mistake that sadly cost her life. In order to help prevent this from happening again, we need to teach people the long-term affect a virtual identity can have on their lives.
Katiebenedict13comm2f00 shared a less tragic example of the consequences that instinctive contributions to cyberspace can have on one’s life. She spoke of a friend of hers who’s boss “saw pictures of her partying, drinking, doing keg stands on facebook. He told her that, “in the interview you told me you were a go getter, a responsible and reliable individual. But, after seeing those pictures makes me think otherwise.” The keg stand photos left a bad impression of her and he fired her.”
No one wants their past actions to affect their future. No one wants to be judged based solely on a picture. There is so much more to us than what we post. For this reason, we should take action and preserve our virtual identities. Just because we have the ability to broadcast every aspect of our lives does not mean that we should. So next time before you post something online, think of who your intended audience is and think about the long-term effects it might have on your life. Because once its in cyberspace, it’s out there forever.
Places we don’t want to go: Sherry Turkle at TED2012
Sherry Turkle. The Flight From Conversation. New York Times Sunday Review. April 21, 2012
Image obtained from http://ieditthereforeiam.leafar.eu/virtual-identity/