Tuesday, May 20, 2014

How You Are Embarrassing Yourself Online Without Even Knowing It

Normally I try to leave my complaints about crazy views in articles to myself, but sometimes one sticks out so markedly that I just can't keep my mouth shut....  While looking at Digital Citizenship Articles for class, I came across this "gem" of an article.  I just had to share it.
The article that I came across that I felt intense disagreement with was  How You Are Embarrassing Yourself Online Without Even Knowing It  written by Simone Smith.


Smith starts out by talking about profile pictures not being as straightforward as one might think.  I agree with her that superficial evaluations of appearance still count."  However, with that being said I have to disagree when she says “Pushing an agenda, an obsession, or parental pride in posts is annoying enough; should you use an image of a child / fictional character / pet / cause / spouse as your profile photo, you are performing the equivalent action next to every single post you make.” 

When I read this my first thought was that she is obviously not a parent.  As a parent I love to see the pictures of my friends’ children and hear about their hilarious antics.  Fictional characters also tell me a lot about a person and again, if I can relate I like it even more.  As an animal lover, I am always ok with animal photos.  Using a photo of a spouse is broadcasting your love for someone who matters to you.  Broadcasting something like marriage equality or breast cancer causes are in no way annoying to me.   I find that if this is done on a social networking forum such as facebook, twitter, instagram, etc. that this is perfectly acceptable.  I can relate to all of these things (even if I do not have a spouse).  I feel that this article was written by someone who was very close-minded about the world and found annoyance in many aspects of life.  I consider myself to be an open-minded person and I welcome anyone to have the ability to broadcast to the world what matters to them and what their likes are.  It is THEIR Facebook page, not mine.  If I do not like it, I do not have to look at it or be their Facebook friend, I can even hide their posts. 

Towards the end of the article Smith also said “Having no online presence at all can be one of the most damaging mistakes you can make. Those who refuse to craft and maintain an online presence run the risk of being seen as arrogant, paranoid or technologically unsophisticated."  There is so much wrong in this statement for me.  The biggest negativity I have felt towards someone without an online presence is that when getting to know a possible dating prospect it is either one: a lie about having a profile or two; they are married.  Other than that, I don’t consider anyone to be arrogant if they do not have a Facebook.  A lot of people feel the same “annoyance” as Smith at things that people post, so they choose not to have a Facebook or twitter account.  Other people have children online and do not want to see what their kids are doing.  Although, you better believe I will be cyber stalking my son’s activities like nobody’s business.  Another example I can think of is younger adults that do not want their parents seeing what they are up to.  This is more an option of privacy.   There are also the people who are constantly working, or even living overseas in censored countries.   People do survive without connecting every day. 
Smith goes on to say “Unless you are over 60, you should have a persistently-maintained online presence. Even if you have a really good reason for not wanting to have an online presence, the majority of people won't see it that way. Consider how difficult it can be to eat out with a friend who only consumes gluten-free, organic, vegetarian, locally-produced food. Those choices might be healthy, ethical and even safer, but they give you fewer means of interaction, and might even give you the feeling that this friend thinks he's better than you.”  All I can get out of this is that old people obviously don’t need technology….  My 80+ grandparents are all on Facebook so that we can keep in touch and share photos.   Also that once again this article was written by a very close-minded individual that finds anyone’s interests outside of her own to be negative and a personal attack on her lifestyle in one way or another. 

Smith then finishes off this thought with “At a minimum, create a complete LinkedIn profile and/or a respectable Facebook profile. Those basic steps can prevent friends -- or even potential employers -- from completely discounting you (many companies do not even recruit people outside of LinkedIn and some will not hire individuals without active Facebook pages.)”  Although I can agree that employer do search your digital footprint for activity, I have never known any employer who did not hire based on lack of social activity.  Being a part of hiring processes myself, the first places we searched were places like Arrested.com to see if anyone has been arrested for something that would affect their security clearance, and then we go on to sites like LinkedIn and Facebook.  However, especially in my career it is always important and openly encouraged to privatize your social networks as much as possible if you so choose to have one.  This could lead to someone being unsearchable whether they have a social networking profile or not. 

Smith goes on to rant about status message content by saying “If you have many friends, but very few Facebook likes or comments on your posts, honestly ask yourself whether you are providing something of value to them (if nobody cares enough to like or comment on what you posted, chances are the answer is "no")…… The more boring you become, the less likely you are to never even show up in a friend's feed. This is not only just due to special algorithms, but friends actively choosing to un-follow or manually hide your posts because they are tired of seeing them.”  According to Smith, your Facebook friends are obviously (I am exaggerating here) only on Facebook in order to entertain you and to seek your approval on life and that boring people do not deserve social media.  As a self-proclaimed “boring person” I can personally take offense to this statement.  I honestly am not even sure what else to say that I have not even said.  I feel as though with these types of views that perhaps Smith needs to reassess the Facebook friends she has so that no one has to listen to her negativity on whether or not their social networking is fulfilling her life of petty judgmental nature.  According to Smith a digital footprint is all about making your life appear much more interesting while never boring or annoying your “friends” who most likely have no real interest in who you are as a person.

Here are some of my annoying pictures

1 comment:

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