Some background music to listen to while you’re reading this post.
Privacy has different meanings. On one hand, it’s a person’s ability to hide something, and on the other hand it’s the ability to share what you want. Doesn’t that sound like the same thing? Hiding things can be very intentional, and have the “sneaky” undertone that we usually connect to “hiding” something. Sharing what you want is a person’s ability to dictate how they are perceived (either online, or otherwise). boyd notes that parents don’t think teens care about their privacy, and will just post anything. But also she notes that we are much more aware than initially perceived. The way that she talks about privacy is interesting and I believe can relate to parts of my life, as I’m sure it can relate to some of yours.
Persistence of content – stuff online last forever (boyd’s wording sounds fancier). This is one the most repeated phrases at my parents’ house that I heard growing up. Be careful what you put online because it lasts forever, anyone who wants to can find it eventually – or some paraphrase of that. This aspect of boyd’s writing is very true. How she notes that things from long ago online can resurface and be used out of context in an argument – a present self having to defend a former self. It isn’t necessarily fair that this can occur with use of online postings, it is ultimately, a trade-off, or necessary evil (I’m not sure which term would be more appropriate) of posting things online. Ironically enough, this post that I’m writing right now is subject to the same perpetuity as the rest of our classes content, and the same perpetuity of news articles, Facebook posts, Trump tweets, etc. I think that, as a younger generation, we aren’t ignorant to the fact that what we post online lasts forever, however perhaps we are… numb? Indifferent? Or maybe we use this fact as the center of motivation to rebel – let everyone read this, I could care less, this needs to be said.
I know writing online can be an outlet for some, so couldn’t it also be an outlet for rebellion? With the use of online mediums, more people hear your voice that wouldn’t necessarily have heard it before social media. Sure, you could have sent a thousand angry letters to whomever, but you’d ultimately end up with carpal tunnel and no change. The fact that “stuff” online lasts forever can help social activism and other aspects of society due to the fact that it can garner support weeks, even years after it was posted because it does indeed last forever.
So, yes, our content lasts forever. Should we update our privacy settings, or produce better content?