The introduction of social media has undeniably changed our lives for good. It has enabled fast and easy contact with friends and family and has provided a new platform for meeting new people. Social media giants such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram now enable online communication like never before through tags and hyperlinks of which now interlink with one another through one endless networked system. This system however is being stained with insults, offensive language and inflammatory messages all with the deliberate intent to provoke a negative, emotional response in a specific individual and subsequent readers. With this now being such a prominent issue in online communities, especially Twitter, these users have been termed ‘Trolls’ and now even defined on some online dictionaries.
It thoroughly disappoints me to see, that even in the wake of Robin Williams death earlier this week, grieving daughter Zelda Williams has been forced to leave social media as result of being directed links of pictures of what were claimed to be her father’s body while others blamed her for her father’s death.
Linking back to what has been discussed in our previous two symposiums about online language use and defamatory behaviour, it still shocks me to see just how many people fail to comprehend even the simplest online etiquette. Yet what makes me shudder in pure anger is the cowardly behaviour of these ‘trolls’ as I have no doubt that these people would express themselves in such a insensitive manner in the real world, outside of their online facade and away from their rectangular glass shield.
for the full article on Zelda William’s departure from social media
Sitting on the tram this afternoon I overheard a woman on the phone behind talking to a friend. Not at all meaning to listen in on their conversation, however there was one thing that she said that sparked my attention.
“She’s not a very social person, she doesn’t even use Facebook”
This got me thinking about what it now means to be social. With social media sites now such a integral part of our everyday lives, what does that mean for those who aren’t on board? If someone doesn’t have an account with at least one of the social networking giants such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, does that immediately make them antisocial? Or does this just make them ‘indie’?
According to today’s Herald Sun, prince Harry claims to ‘really quite hate’ twitter as a result of the invasion of his privacy in which it causes. However, forgive me if I’m alone on this one but doesn’t being second in line for the thrown kind of go hand in hand with a relatively public life? Yet, irrespective of who you are, or what you’re destined to become, putting yourself online, whether it be through Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or even the old fashioned Hotmail is something that is undeniably permanent. Although private settings are available on most social networking sites, when something is put onto the internet, it will stored somewhere, somehow deep in the various portals that the internet holds.
I personally believe, if you are going to put something on the internet then you are consciously choosing to allow other people to view this. It seems unfair to claim that social networking sites are an invasion of privacy when their fundamental purpose is to connect yourself with others. Why make a tweet if you don’t want people to read your opinion? Why upload a photo if you don’t want people to see what you look like? Why tags yourself at a location if you don’t want people to know where you are? Perhaps it’s a positive thing that the generations of today are becoming less private and more open to sharing themselves to new people. Comment below if you feel that with the immense presence of social media in our everyday lives is effecting our sense of personal privacy.