M2.2

Privacy within social media is a hot topic of debate among many, and it is a sensitive issue. As Anders Albrechtslund states in his “online social networking as participatory surveillance article”, we are constantly being monitored for our social activity. According to him, this is especially prominent in the United States where monitoring of social activity has increased dramatically since 9/11, as has social media use itself.

It is important to manage one’s use of social media, and monitor what we put out there for others to see. Posting things can create severe backlash to users who abuse the privilege, even causing legal trouble in some instances for particularly troubling posts.

For one to gain true privacy, one must almost abandon social media use altogether. It is nearly impossible to maintain privacy while using social media, as the government scope and power ranges beyond what most of us realize in this realm.

Albrechtslund takes about the term “participatory surveillance”, and how we as users contribute to our own surveillance with the information we post. By using social media and other worldwide interfaces, we allow ourselves to be monitored and observed in ways like never before.

This is something I have become aware of more and more over the years. As an avid user of social media and the web, I am constantly cautious and aware of the various sites I visit and any content I decide to post.

The implications for personal privacy in the digital age are huge. One must all but give up Internet use altogether in order to achieve privacy. With all that is available with internet use, this sacrifice is normally too great for anyone to do in order to achieve this privacy (myself included). Internet users must understand that this surveillance comes with the benefits of using this new technology, and therefore decide whether it is a sacrifice worth making.

In our everyday life there are also many other ways we are under the scope of social surveillance. One example, on a more well-known scale, is the use of police officers and the surveillance they provide. We are being watching for any suspicious or illegal activity, which keeps our actions in check. This is similar to what surveillance on the Internet is intended to do, keep our actions in an appropriate manner.

Surveillance in general is something that makes the general public uneasy, but is something we must deal with. It will more than likely only increase as social media use does, so it is something as a public we better get used to.

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