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Self Censorship #LETSEXPLORE

Tuesday 18 November 2014
Words Ailis Mara

“Are you socially active online?” the doctor asks in a serious tone before he reminds you to take precautions and to always always use an anti-virus programme.

We are the generation where our bosses can Facebook stalk us and find that picture from years ago of you passed out on the toilet that your friends thought would be “totally hilarious” to upload. And I fully blame the dirt that could be dug up on me from social media websites as the sole reason I’ll never be the second female Prime Minister, honestly, it has nothing to do with my complete and utter lack of politics knowledge…

It’s safe to say that in the past social media has helped individuals secure jobs or placements or internships or what have you. As well as being able to be constantly connected with professionals you wouldn’t normally come into contact with (thank god for that One Direction follow spree, I mean, Barack Obama). But there has also been a lot of trouble as a result of things that have been found or said on these media platforms.

Not only is there rising issues with extensive information people post of themselves, on their own accounts, on social media, but also what others can access without permission. We’ve all heard about, and maybe seen (tut tut), the recent bout of celebrities who’s “nudes” have been leaked by hackers and posted on publications who are abusing their status in society and fully disrespecting a person’s right to privacy. Especially over something taken with the aim of a specific set of eyes being the only ones to see it. With a few clicks of your mouse you can find your way onto some dingy website or another and you yourself can violate their privacy, for the low, low price of absolutely nothing! Free! But do you really want that on your shoulders? Next time you want to Google “*insert celebrity name here* naked”, just have a think about your own phone history. And that’s as far as that sentence needs to go…

Another reason that censoring your online life is so important is so certain facts do not fall into the hands of the wrong person. I doubt your ‘new to Facebook’ grandparents want to see the pictures of you with five cigarettes in your hand that is attached to the arm that is draped around the shoulders of a questionable looking “love of your life” that you met a few minutes previous in the questionable looking club. No one wants that topic to come up next time you’re being a good grandchild and giving them a quick ring on the blower. I can see it now, “Who’s your new boyfriend petal? What does he do for a living? Shall I buy a hat?” No grandma.

So just think next time you go to leave that drunken tweet, or status about how you “really can’t be bothered with my man-part of a boss today”, that there’s people out there watching. Just waiting to report you to the social media police (or worse, your mum).