Thursday, July 21, 2011

Don't Be Careful What You Post

We've all heard people say that you should be careful what you post, that you shouldn't write anything online or even in an email that you wouldn't want your parents or teachers or future employers to know about.  Well, that doesn't work for me because there is not a single thing I post online that I would want future employers to see, unless I am actually talking to them.  I love to write online and refuse to censor or reign myself in, and I get really annoyed when people tell me to be careful what I post. I have privacy settings and anonymity so that I can't be found by everyone. I don't let people into my online space if I have to be careful what I say around them.

I understand that we should avoid hurting people's feelings and sharing other people's private information online. But if you want to share your own private information, why not just regulate who can see it? I understand that sites will sell your info to market researchers, but when it comes to privacy against people you know in real life, the privacy settings can pretty much do the job.

Not everyone wants to keep their websites as private as I do, but the point is that there are multiple ways to make your information private from individuals whom you don't want to see it.  I once got into trouble for something that I posted on Facebook, and since then, I've often been told to be careful what I post. But I am much more careful now - I'm careful about who can see it. My Facebook page is private. Only certain friends can read what I post. I have never used my full name on this blog. I have searched my own name on the internet numerous times and nothing that I don't want people to see comes up.

The example on the right is commonly used as a be-careful-what-you-post warning. But why can't it instead be a be-careful-who-you-friend example? Not saying stuff like this is one choice, but not adding your boss in the first place is another choice, and is the right choice for those of us who want to complain freely online.

Don't let people tell you not to over-share, online or anywhere else.  If someone is going to make you compromise what you would like to share, they don't belong in your personal space.

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