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article imageOp-Ed: Social media, common sense isn't so common

By Timothy Whitt     Jun 14, 2013 in Internet
Social media has permeated the world culture. Everyday millions of people, text, Tweet, post and Instagram all manner of messages and photos to friends and family members.
Social media offers people instant access to friends and relatives across the street to around the world. People spend hours each day using text messages, tweets and Facebook posts to communicate everyathing happening in their lives. But social media has also been accused of being the downfall of common sense across all genrations.
According to Michael Vallez on GovLoop, “there seems to be a lack of modesty and forethought when it comes to information (pics, videos, crazy status updates) being placed on social networking sites.”
Social media has become the dumping ground for every little nasty secret which was once whispered in private. People make public what should not see the light of the internet. Arguments once held behind closed doors are now played out in places like Facebook and Twitter. Pictures are posted which need to be censored. Actions are recorded which could come back to haunt the person posting the information for a long time to come.
“But, but, don’t I have a right to privacy…freedom of speech…or something?” The answer is not really, when it comes to the internet. According to Paul Sullivan Jr. in a recent article, “you lose what right of privacy you may have had once you click that “post” button.” Once something is posted on social media, it can be copied, downloaded, reposted, by anyone and for any purpose.
In many cases information obtained from Facebook and Twitter can be used by employers to screen job applicants or even to fire employees who are step over the line.
In one landmark case, the Steubenville High School rape trial, the prosecution used texts and pictures by the assailants and others to help convict them of raping a 16 year old girl. The really sad part of the whole trial was that other people at the party took the pictures on their cell phones as the girl, unconscious and naked, was carried from place to place.
Even Mitt Romney, in the last presidential election, was dealt a, "self-inflicted fatal blow," by social media. when the video of his infamous statement was circulated throughout the internet and on national television.
Vallez reminds people, when posting anything to a social media site, “you should assume it will live on the web forever,” as it gets passed around from person to person. A good rule for anyone who uses social media is to not post anything before thinking about the consequences of what is being posted.
Social media can be a great tool, when used correctly. But those who embrace social media need to use a little common sense before posting anything. Otherwise, be ready to face the consequences of every ill advised post.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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