Our class topic for this week, privacy and being brave, makes me think about my social media accounts and who can see all of my randomness. I sometimes wonder if my thoughts and views expressed could offend my followers. Let’s face it, people get offended by everything these days. But that is beside the point. As I take time to research this topic, I’ve come to the conclusion that there is no such thing as privacy. The only way a person can have complete privacy is to disassociate him/herself with everyone. To prove my point, I will give you the definition of the word, “privacy”.
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, privacy is defined as 1the quality or state of being apart from company or observation, 2a place of SECLUSION, and 3secrecy. Again, “The only way a person can have complete privacy is to disassociate him/herself from everyone.” Seems simple? No. We live in a society and generation, where it is common to “vent” and display emotions in public and over the internet. Think about entertainers and athletes and their numerous rants and complaints about the media, their respective organizations, and sometimes fans. Many of us call it expressing ourselves. Others call it not thinking before you speak. Many public figures simply do not take ample time to think through their thoughts before expressing them. Now that Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram have taken off, and very quickly I might add, we are now turning to these accounts to rant and complain.
The issue with using social media is not the social media itself, but it is our inability to recognize what is good expression and what the public should not know. Yes, the media can be overbearing at times, but now public figures and celebrities are making the media’s jobs easier and giving them material to use. Many account holders have turned to the infamous “My account was hacked” excuse justifying their irresponsible use of social media. And many have come forth and admitted to using that life, i.e. LeSean McCoy after arguing via Twitter with his son’s mother. I’m pretty sure Mr. McCoy thought during that time his tweets were embarrassing to the opposing party and the damage was done to her image, but it actually backfired and damaged his image and the image of the Philadelphia Eagles. Yes, you can delete the post and your page, but by the time you hit delete, someone has already seen or even screenshot the message. Of course he has deleted his Twitter account, but the power of screenshots is just too great.
All jokes and negativity aside, there is always a way to express our emotions without necessarily embarrassing ourselves in the process. A perfect example of expression would be my classmate’s, Lauren Jones, blog about her coming out experience. Had I not read her post, I would have never guessed, thought, or even cared about her sexuality or experience. But now that she has given me insight to a piece of her life, I felt compassion for her having to deal with her parents’ issue with her sexuality which brings me to the topic of bravery, defined simply as the quality or state of being brave and courage. I think Lauren was extremely brave to write a blog post about her experience being gay and telling her parents. Although she may have wanted to keep her experience private for a while, she found bravery in sharing her story. As I close, I hope you understand that privacy is not possible, however, using what you hope to be a private experience to grow and become a better person takes bravery.