Privacy

I’ve seen many posts on social media where a teacher or parent posts a picture asking you to share so people can see how far an image travels. It’s easy to forget that what we post on the Internet becomes public as soon as we hit “enter.”  There is no taking it back like in a conversation. Our words take on a life of their own.

Someone asked me why I don’t call my children by their given names when I post. Easy…they have an expectation of privacy. This little blog occasionally draws an audience and while I write mostly about myself, sometimes I do write about my kids.

I do think about what I write here. I read it several times before I hit “post.” I think through who I might offend. Whether  those offenses are worth speaking my mind. Nine times out of ten, I hit “post” because I’m writing what I feel at that moment. The tenth time, well, sometimes it is better to just let things go and hit “delete” instead.

Today, a social media friend posted about sex. I refrained from commenting, mainly because I feel the individual can post whatever they want on their page. As I read the comments, I was thinking about those pictures I mentioned above. Did this person really think through what that post meant?

It’s a public-setting post. Anyone who wants to see this person’s proclivities is welcome too. The person invited others into their living room and, um, their bedroom. One person commented about how some things should remain private. That person was quickly attacked by people who accused the commenter of “judging” and telling the page owner to shut up.

I guess I’m old. I agree that some things do not need to be publicized. This is very different from “stifling” people’s rights. If you want to put it out there, that’s your choice. But you also have to accept the consequences. That includes people stating they don’t agree with you. You gave up the right to clam indignation. You also expose yourself to countless ramifications, including future opportunities that could evaporate because people don’t agree with your posts.

So, your choice to post about anything you want. My choice to press that “unfriend” button when I no longer tolerate your posts. I’m allowed to make that choice. It’s not a judgment. It’s a choice the same as the one you made to post about your sex life. Don’t get yourself all up in arms. Accept that posting has consequences. Accept that when you post about adult topics, you open yourself to adult criticism.

And keep those pictures in mind before you hit “enter.” Your words will travel around the world several times before you blink. They may go places you never imagined. You are opening a window, or a door, into your life with each word you post. If you want privacy, don’t post unless that’s your plan. Then don’t complain when people make comments about your choices.

 

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