The false sense of privacy on social media 03/12/2015
How people interact with other peers has changed over time. This has been a fact since the social media phenomenon came into our lives. Now, interacting in real life has been shifted to the background level, people prefer to stay online at home . With the internet boom, the use of computers had been increasing slowly. The arrival of Hotmail was the first stepping stone to make this happen.
Traditional mailing has been decreasing and emails started to have an impact in society. I’m talking of hotmail as it was one of the forerunners on the internet. They created Messenger, which skyrocketed among society in all corners around the world. It was thanks to Messenger when emojis were born, famous until today and essential in our daily online conversations. Now, Messenger is gone, its life was short but intense as it was born in 1999, but Skype has taken over.
Nonetheless, if Messenger was the first great application we used to chat online and make cyber friends, it wasn’t the only application. Who doesn’t remember Fotolog? For the most clueless, Fotolog was a blog where users could upload photos and share a text, short or long, to show their feelings, worries or just share their daily experiences. In Fotolog you could make friends and follow other users, so we can say it was one of the first social media to exist. Nowadays, this social media format and blogs are old fashioned and regular users tend to use Blogger or WordPress to publish their ideas, and Flickr, Tumblr or Instagram if photos is their thing!
HABBO also became important as one of the first online games. In HABBO you could interact with other users from all over the globe while visiting their hotels, becoming one of the first successful social media in the internet history. Nowadays, the hobby of HABBO has been replaced by other online videos such as World of Warcraft, Counter Strike or the so famous LOL (League of Legends)
Some myths of social media
However, in the field of social networks, everything that glitters is not gold. All assumed truths are not such, nor promises are fulfilled. There are some aspects, some details users ignore but have to be taken into account when using current social media. This online marketing and communication platform Idearium 3.0 shares some details on the lies of social media which are ignored by users because of their unawareness or laziness.
One of the myths, for instance, is that social media is free. This is far from the truth. They are free as long as you know how to use it. If you use it at a personal level, it doesn’t cost a penny, but if you use it at a business level, some knowledge on Marketing, Communication and Community managing are required to make a proper use of it. If you don’t have any knowledge on this aspects, Social media costs money, the same cost as it would cost to hire a person to manage it.
Other key aspects dealt by Idearium is that anyone can manage the different social media. And this is also false. to manage the different social media you have to know how to. It’s not just taking pictures, publish them and get likes. There’s something more. When using social media, having a good strategy, communication and knowledge on the internet, our target audience and advertising are essential.
It’s also absurd to have a profile in each of the existing social media platforms, as there are so many of them. Thus, you have to create a profile in the social media that most interest you have in or where your target audience is. If you want to promote yourself in the working world, use LinkedIn; if you are looking to get in touch with your friends from childhood, create a Facebook profile.
Linked to the previous point, and depending on your business, you have to create a profile in the target social media platform. If you are a photography business, your social media platform is without a doubt Tumblr, if you are a news agency, your place is Twitter.
To conclude this part of the article about myths of social media, you have to keep in mind that having lots of followers does not guarantee success. Quality over quantity. Having many followers does not guarantee anything. The most important thing is having an audience interested in our product and actively interacting with us. Bots not welcomed, thanks! .
So, if you’re business is on one of the social media platforms, you have to know that it’s not important to always publish things. The only thing we have to keep in mind is that we publish quality content that helps our audience. Publishing just for the act of publishing is not the path to follow.
Conclusion of our privacy on social media
Perhaps this is one of the hot spots today among cybersociety. Anyone could think that by checking the privacy settings on the social media is enough to keep strangers from spying on our posts, pics and comments. But this is far from reality, any uploaded picture stays on the internet forever. Let’s say that this is like a big platform with cement, which grabs you and never let you go. The internet is a virtual place where everything that is uploaded remains there.
Reading Castells, and expert in the IT field, and Vicente Díaz Gandasegui, sociologist, makes clearer that our apparently private data is not such. In the world of Facebook, for instance, personal data are required to sign up on the platform, this data goes to different servers located worldwide, therefore, our data is everywhere in the world. The problem increases when the social media ask for your permission. In other words, to verify that you are who you say you are and that the user created is not a fake one. In this case, some users use their birthday, phone number and other personal info, that no longer remains private, and we feed their personal information database they have of us.
Therefore, some key points about privacy on social media could be the following:
Anonymity: On some social media, users have to sign up using their real name. Facebook, for instance, is a clear example of this. On this social media, providing this personal information makes it easier to find and be found by old friends you want to get in touch.
Privacy: Privacy doesn’t exists on social media. We all can see the friends of our friends, and what’s even worse , you can google a person, as it happens on Facebook or Twitter. However, some of these social media provide privacy settings which you can modify and avoid strangers stalking you and your content, but keep in mind that this content is now in the hands of the social media database, they are private to the public eye but not for the social media.
User communication privacy: Social media should not only guarantee privacy in your content, but also in the communication including your IP address (personal and unique for every device and, logically, it locates you around the world). Remember, this information is registered and they are stored somewhere, so they are never really private.