|*Photo Source: Pinterest|
'God I wish I could just 'unfriend' you but I can't cause then if I see you out somewhere and I have unfriended you then it would be awkward and I couldn't handle it.....argh!'
That's the power of social media now it isn't just a little network on a screen we log into now and again it is part of our actual, physical lives. Most people admit that when they wake up in the morning the first thing they do is check social media sites on their phone. Everyone wants to put their lives online nowadays whether it is because we want to share news with our digital friends or we want to find out about someone else via the internet.
Engaged? Tell Facebook!
Can't sleep? Tell Facebook!
Had enough of your other half being so inconsiderate and treating you like sh*t that you may just pack your bags and leave? Tell Facebook!
Wondering what that bloke you went on a few dates with and then never saw again about five years ago is doing now? Find him now on Facebook!
Obviously other social media sites are available but Twitter (for example) isn't quite the same for this kind of social networking behaviour. You don't share albums and status's, you just tweet either generally or to others, sure there are those who like to vent on Twitter of course but because nine times out of ten people don't respond to them like they would on Facebook, people don't do it.
I have written about social media previously and why I decided to quit Facebook ages ago, some people really enjoy the car crash style status's or watching couples air their dirty laundry online. Some people don't even mind the endless, miserable status's for which we have all at one time been guilty of (these people though take it to a whole new level). I did mind it, so I got rid.
Been there, done that, written the blog post. (HERE)
My post today about sharing on social media, is about photo sharing.
Yep, we all love taking and sharing photo's don't we? Myself included. Whether it is because we are eating a yummy meal or because we are out and about and want to share our experience, we are now a nation that loves to snap away. No harm in that, I love photos and love seeing other peoples photos. Also, being a blogger I know how crucial sharing photos can be with regards to networking but what scares me is that STILL, after ten years of Facebook, Myspace before that....endless reports on the news and goodness knows what else, some people don't know when to draw the line when it comes to photo sharing. You may think that because you put that photo up and quickly changed your mind 30 seconds later and deleted it that it's OK but that photo leaves a mark online. You may not be able to find it and neither will your friends but there are plenty of people out there who could.
Best example of that is when you read a story of a celebrity who shared a tweet online or a photo and then promptly changed their mind and deleted it moments later. You're reading about it though aren't you? And that tweet / photo is shown in the article right? Some clever dick has caught it or retrieved it to share with the world. Once it is out there, it is out there. A while back, Coronation Street star Michelle Keegan's Instagram account shared a photo of a pair a bare boobs in a bubble bath which was very quickly deleted - it screams all the actions of an honest social media mistake, she was meant to send the saucy pic privately via another method I'm guessing (although she claimed the photo wasn't of her and someone got hold of her phone to post the picture as a prank) Whatever happened, it went viral despite being so quickly deleted and even now, if you Google 'Michelle Keegan' the 'bath' option is one of the results (I know many people will now be desperate to try this out but if you could refrain from googling until the end of the post I would be very grateful!)
My point? Be careful what you share. Once it's out there, it ain't going nowhere!
I am going to be a mum very soon and all of my online profiles link back to this blog. Yes, I do share my life on here but only to a certain degree (one as I am private and two because I am sure people would rather read something more interesting and that they generally can relate to!) so my little one won't be online. I won't put endless photos up because it sits funny with me to think they will be easily accessible to anyone. Google 'Nicki Kinickie' and lots of my photos come up because anyone can follow my blog and therefore follow me. That is fine, that is my choice and that is how I promote what I do but I don't want that to be the same for the baby.
My main grumble is naked child photos. I will never EVER understand those who share naked or bath photos and videos of their babies / children online. NEVER. It doesn't matter if your profile is private, if someone is looking for it then they will find it. I remember reading an article about a woman who made YouTube video montages of her children including footage of them in the bath and somehow (I don't remember how exactly) she learnt that her videos were being featured on a child pornography website.
Can you imagine?! Just the thought of that makes me want to throw up.
She of course was horrified and complained about how it was possible this could even happen lashing out wherever she could and pointing the finger of blame but sadly, the person most responsible was her. She had innocently been sharing these precious images of her young children online (I believe because she had family abroad) and had been unwittingly feeding the depraved minds of a life form that none of us can begin to understand. It's very sad, she of course learnt her lesson but at what cost? It is very easy to forget just how powerful, intertwined and clever the internet and it's users are, sadly these innocent people are the ones who suffer the consequences of that.
We protect our children in every other way physically and in 'real life' so we must do the same online. Think before you share: would you be happy for everyone in the world to see this photo should it go viral? Would you feel comfortable knowing that absolutely anyone could access it? I also always think about how the children in the photos will feel about what has been shared when they grow up. Social media will no doubt be unrecognisable by the time my baby is old enough to be a part of it, everyone on the planet will probably be famous and share everything. If that's the case then fine, it will be their decision to be that way but I personally would hate to know there are naked baby photos and videos of me all over the internet. Even just lots of baby photos. I got uncomfortable with the fact people could add photos of you and tag you on Facebook in the end which was another reason why I got rid of it. Drunken night out pics, pics where maybe you were a bit more overweight than you wanted to be, they all ended up on there whether you liked it or not. I used to go out clubbing with a group of girls one of which ALWAYS took her camera out and always tried to snap you at the most inappropriate time whether it was just catching you off guard or whatever. It was so annoying! The next day you were more grateful for the drunk photos that were being posted because of the angles you had been unknowingly caught at.
I guess I have long learnt my social media lesson. I have gone from one of those who innocently loved sharing everything online to being super duper cautious. I learnt the hard way a couple of times that people you don't always expect can see what you are up to and got to dislike it in the end. The rows it can cause because of a status taken the wrong way or because certain people decided to go out last minute and you weren't invited but found out about it online. Because EVERYTHING is online now it is easy for anyone to get sucked in to the traps of social media.
Just don't take your children with you.