Social networking in the internet age exists in a way that previous generations never would have or could have ever imagined.
People can communicate with and learn about each other with such ease and with such speed that it’s almost frightening.
For many, in fact, it is frightening. Many would say it’s very frightening because the very idea of the type of online social interaction that happens today has completely redefined a lot of aspects of our lives.
How Social Networking Really Effects You…
The most obvious way that it has affected the lives of people in our present day society is in the way that it has helped to redefine privacy. This is something that many in the western world have valued more than most things, and still value to this day.
By this, privacy refers to everything from privacy from the government, privacy from the law and privacy from friends.
Just as much as all of that, it refers to privacy from general acquaintances and strangers.
Privacy Barriers Have Been Ripped Wide Open With Social Networking
Social networking on the internet has broken down privacy barriers that many people have valued in dramatic ways. What is strange about all of this is not that it happened slowly, because it didn’t—these online communities have grown in concept and in practice at rapid rates during the last decade.
The strange things is how it’s rapid growth went largely unnoticed by the social networking masses, because the evolution of the internet happened so smoothly.
Why No One Realized It Was Happening
For a while none of this was a problem though because involvement with social networking communities was strictly voluntary and it was mostly the youth and post adolescent internet users that were getting involved. For them privacy was never an issue, because in those periods of life people have never really thought of the big picture in any significant way.
However, by getting involved as they did, they allowed a great deal of information about their lives to be posted in forums that are quite often public. Photographs and stories and anecdotes about how they behave and who they associate with were made available for all to see, especially on Myspace and Facebook.
Those who chose to maintain some shred of privacy by posting things in a supposedly private forum didn’t fare much better either.
The very nature of social networks is their expanse and their demonstration of inter connectivity and that inter connectivity allows strangers to see supposedly private things, as in some instances personal information.
Has Your Privacy Been Breached With Social Networking
It’s that same inter connectivity that has dragged unsuspecting masses into the social networking age. Even those who had never been actively involved with such practices were finding their photographs posted in forums by friends, along with passive information about what they have been doing with their days and their lives.
Of course, this wasn’t always seen as an invasion of privacy and actually was often considered to be an invitation, encouraging the non users to become involved like everyone else. The result of all of this is nations of people who actively allow their lives to be tracked by a virtual big brother.
All of this has turned privacy into something unrecognizable to what it used to be. How much this new look of social networking privacy will end up changing the way people live is yet to be seen, but surely changes will have to come with social networking.