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In a modern day world, technology has undeniably become an indispensable tool in the day-to-day operations of the human beings. However, this digital age has come along with its perils that confront millions of people around the globe. One of the threats is privacy.
The internet seems to record everything and forget nothing thus posing a threat to one’s privacy and reputation. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Myspace collect and share inappropriate and embarrassing personal information to other users, which comes to haunt people thereafter. Online photos, status updates, blogs have completely lost the power of reflecting an individual’s freedom of expression.
Living in an era, in which whatever you say or whatever others say about you is stored in permanent and public digital files, is threatening. The storage of this information does not give one an option to reinvent him or herself to a new beginning and overcome the checkered pasts.
In traditional societies, human beings were given the capacity to learn from the past experiences and adjust their behavior. However, in the modern society missteps are always recorded making them impossible to be forgotten thus offering no room for second chances.
Using social media platforms has both personal and professional implications. There is an emerging trend of the social media platforms shifting from privacy to transparency in what they term as recognition of the social norms (Rosen 4).
The user profiles (user’s friends, relationship status, and family relations) that had previously been private would become public and accessible to other users. Facebook has already ascribed to this recent development. This would inevitably affect marriages, relationships, and family ties. Professionally, the internet have far reaching implications.
For, example majority of the recruiters and human resource professionals do conduct an online search of the candidates by not only scrutinizing the social-networking profiles of the applicants, but also using the search engines, photo- and video-sharing sites, personal web sites, and blogs. Some observers and scholars have argued that it is illegal for employers to fire or refuse hire anyone on the basis of legal off-duty conduct revealed in Facebook postings or Google profiles.
For instance, Professor Paul Ohm observes that “It is not fair for employers to know what you have put in your Facebook status updates”. Ohm suggests that there should be laws that prohibit employers from refusing to hire people based on Facebook pictures, status updates, and other legal but embarrassing personal information.
In human history, all the activities and endeavors of people were fixed on rigid societal expectations. However, as time went by, people started drifting away from their social roles to become more individualistic. According to Rosen, “people perceived themselves increasingly as individuals, their status becomes a function not of inherited categories but of their own efforts and achievements” (Rosen). This individual dependency has been propagated by the narcissism that redefines the identity of the modern man.
From the foregoing discussion, it is evidently clear that as people continue to experience the drawbacks of living in an internet-driven world, they should learn to hesitate before posting information, sharing photos, uploading pictures, joining online groups or blogging as that can drastically affect their personal and professional reputations. As we still wait for the technological, legal, judicial, and ethical solutions, one needs to be very careful to avoid the unforeseen negative impacts.
Rosen, Jeffrey. “The Web Means the End of Forgetting.” The New York Times. The New York Times Mag., 21 July 2010. Web.