I have always loved the openness of the Internet and when asked, I am always on the side of deregulation. I compare it to life, you take what you want and you ban what you don’t want. And I will not dare to be the one choosing what is good for you. Which brings me to my next point; I had a conversation the other night with a group of friends. I was talking about social media, and how I do not believe in doing things just because it is “allowed” or legal, especially when it comes to the internet.
Freedom of Speech
Many people argue that you have the “right” to say what you want. We have seen countless examples of the consequences of expressing opinions about “the company,” and have learned that it can be a bad career move. And yet once in a while you’ll hear about the guy that spent a sick day skiing in Colorado, and was caught because he updated his status on facebook or twitter.
Privacy vs. Anonymity
Many people confuse privacy with anonymity. They want to be able to express their opinion in a selective manner. After all, we are all responsible for the actions we take, especially in information era. The public must be aware of one fact- Anything you post on the internet can and will be used against you. Social media sites have begun to index anything you post. This means everything is picked up by search engines, and visible to the public. This could come back to haunt you at the worst moment.
Privacy vs. Security
Another key issue is sharing more information than wanted by omission. Many times we give more than we should by not being educated. The U.S. Army does a great job not only by embracing Social Media, but also by educating their members on how to use it properly. Their Presentation on “Geotags and Location-Based Social Networking,” even when it relates more to security than privacy, explains the risk and how their personnel could be inadvertently broadcasting their position by posting pictures to Social Sites and the steps necessary to correct it.
I always tell my kids that they should always be careful and think through what they say before they say it, once it is out, you can’t take it back.
So what do you think? Can we expect to express our inner thoughts without fear of any consequences, or has that ship already sailed?