Is Privacy Possible?

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Hmmm…good question. Nowadays, we as a global society are connected in so many more ways than we were just a decade ago. Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, etc. have expanded our social networking web, both in our personal and professional arenas. Privacy is possible nowadays, but it’s becoming increasingly challenging to keep things strictly private or personal. Social networking sites do have customized privacy settings that allow users to protect their privacy to a certain extent, however, the line between the personal and professional are becoming more blurred and meshed together, according to social media expert Heather Mansfield. As a social media manager, especially in nonprofit settings, blending your personal and professional lives online is something that has to be done in order to be the best advocate for the cause and the nonprofit agency, according to Heather Mansfield. She says “privacy is not dead as long as you are willing to take responsibility for it and take steps to protect it”.

Personally, I think that privacy is possible, but from personal experience, it’s becoming harder to maintain it. For example, I had deleted my MySpace account over a year ago, and recently, I decided to google my name, just to see what would come up. And guess what I found? My MySpace account! All my pictures and information were still there. I’m still baffled and angry about it. I say that if you wouldn’t want your boss or employer finding out about something that has grounds to get you dismissed or fired, then don’t post it. Even if it’s a strictly personal Facebook or other social media page, I personally would be very hesitant to post something too personal on it. My take on this is that it’s just better to “be safe than sorry”.

Reference: Mansfield, H. (2012). A How-To Guide for Nonprofits: Social Media for Social Good. PP. 66, 198. The McGraw-Hill Companies.

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4 responses »

  1. I agree tis better to be safe and not sorry, but it is my understanding that there is an age group 30 years younger than I that have not thought about being private. They say let it all hang out, therefore less controls would be kept. Just a Zuckerberg sold out his users (including me) the other social media types do the same.

    What have you done to get your information off the public pages? or is there anything that can be done?

  2. Hey Tanya! Thanks for commenting. I understand that in today’s social culture, being connected to each other is a necessity, especially for teens and young adults. It’s become part of the social norm. Privacy is not a concern for a lot of people nowadays.

    I have not done anything to take out the information. The information is basic, like my birthday and gender, and what kind of stuff I like in terms of movies, hobbies, etc. I honestly am not sure what can be done to delete the page.

  3. Brittany,

    The issues of privacy settings are difficult to sort out and they are not always intuitive. The other problem is that you have to constantly keep up with changes in technology or programs that change your privacy settings. You have to check on it regularly. Here are a couple of articles you might be interested in reading.

    http://www.allfacebook.com/facebook-privacy-now-2011-10
    http://blogs.vancouversun.com/2011/12/20/facebook-timeline-privacy-settings/

    Help me remember to talk about the privacy settings on Facebook in class on Thursday. Thanks.

    In terms of myspace – can you still log in to the account? If you can, we can talk about how you can more permanently delete the information if you wish to do that.

    It’s also interesting to think about how your personal passion can be used to promote something more professional or public.

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