Yesterday, my co-worker casually asked me if I’d bought the domain for my wordpress account. To say I was caught off guard would be an accurate description; I’ve never told him or any of our colleagues about my blog. When I asked how he knew, he said he found the link on my Instagram profile, which had been a suggested page for him to follow when he logged into his account. How? Just by saving my mobile number to his phone contacts.
Disclaimer: for the record, if any of my colleagues are reading my blog, I’m totally cool with that. Also, hey! What’s up? See ya on Monday~
Ahem. As I was saying.
I think the reason I was so startled was because it was a reminder of how public our private lives have become. The correlation between social media and our need for validation/attention is a topic that’s been discussed endlessly, but here’s another thought: how much are we unwittingly sharing with the world?
Another example would be Facebook. I’d added my manager’s number to my phone and boom, now his Facebook profile keeps popping up as one of those irritating ‘People you might know’ suggestions, even though those pesky algorithms know damn well we know each other!
Perhaps I’m being a tad dramatic.
As someone’s who’s actively trying to get their blog well-known, I’m relatively aware of the privacy settings on each of my social media accounts. I’m clearly no tech expert, but I still use a separate email for contacting clients in my freelance writing work versus a personal one for contacting friends. I regularly check the privacy updates whenever they’re made. I even skim through the Terms and Conditions, so if that’s not dedication, I don’t know what is. But despite that, I never consented to the friendships that social media is trying to force between me and other people, jut by saving their contact details.
For the record, I don’t think of social media as the soul-sucking entity that has ruined my generation, no matter how many times it’s been portrayed this way before. Like all things, I see it as something with benefits and drawbacks, and it depends on what you make of it. Clearly, I’m making the most of social media and promoting my blog across multiple platforms. But what if I wanted to be more selective about who gets to see what? How much of that can I truly control?
In the end, only time will tell us the lasting effect of social media. We’re the first generation to really document ourselves online, a platform that could potentially keep its records for thousands and thousands of years, if not forever. Future generations could one day look up their great X10 grandma to see what see what she was like in her youth- a digital family tree, if you will.
What will they find out about you?