Social media has become a huge part of most people’s lives. Myspace, Facebook, Twitter – all these websites came in and enabled us to share what was happening in our lives at any time, with all our friends at once.
At first, this was fantastic. No longer did we need to write letters, or call our family on the other side of the globe. Everyone that we knew and cared about could keep up to date with us simply by checking out our Facebook.
However, unless you have your privacy settings set to ‘friends only’, your photos and thoughts are available to far more than just your friends. Data travels around the globe so quickly through the internet, as a lot of people who have had bad photos or videos of them go viral can attest to.
Not only can your information spreading so far be embarrassing, it can also cost work. Poor online decisions can result in you losing your job, as shown in the case with Justine Sacco. On top of that, many people have simply not been hired at all. If you think, in this day and age, that your prospective boss is not perusing your social media before giving you a call, then you are sorely mistaken.
The issue, is that people do not tend to grasp exactly how dangerous posting all their information on the internet is. Emotional children post silly photos or angry status’ that they later regret, but that can no longer be completely erased – as anyone could have screenshot them.
We need to begin teaching our children how to convey themselves online from a young age, and I believe that internet safety needs to a priority in schools. Our digital identities are only going to become more important in the years to come, and our youngest and most vulnerable need to be taught how they can remain safe whilst using the internet.