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Digital Media And Boundaries

With all the changes Mr. Zuckerberg makes to privacy settings on facebook and general formatting, one would think that I wouldn’t be welcomed by porn on my newsfeed. Due to some virus my mini-feed is riddled by inappropriate photos and stories, warranting a daily round of deleting and unsubscribing from “friends”. While I am not happy with this newly added task, it has served a purpose in causing me to reevaluate social media and my thoughts on boundaries. 

Before beginning I think it is important to note that I am not against social media; I have a facebook, twitter, and a very inactive myspace (I can’t figure out how to delete!). I am an avid status writer, photo poster, and occasional procrastinator who thinks it may be time to rethink my social engagement.

Catching up. My reunion for my high school class is approaching and instead of the excitement that comes with wanting to know how friends have been I already have questions about their ventures since graduation. Instead of “what’s new?” I’ll be asking “So how was that trip to Guatemala? Looks like you had a lot of fun”. There seems to be nothing I want to know and feel privy to that isn’t already broadcasted over the internet. In my case this over-divulging of information is equally true. My “friends” need only click on my profile to find out who’s who in my life, what I do, my feelings on what I do, and where I am (as was the case this weekend when I posted pics of my trip to DC).

Full Disclosure. In a space where the only requisite for exchange is the click of a button, unwanted information is bound to be shared. The same is true for any physical relationship yet in the digital world there is no buffer. Where I can tell my friend in person how far I am want a conversation to go, online activity is done with only one person in mind: the sender.

Life-cycles. It has been said that some friends are seasonal; not all relationships are meant for life but for the life lesson. Parting ways happens every so often in physical space and could be instrumental to growth for both parties. However, online parting physically can be replaced with keeping tabs on people digitally. This behavior in particular can feed energy into thought life, behavior, and speech that needs to altogether be moved past. Maybe I don’t need to keep in touch with that person I had a ten minute conversation with at a conference three years ago, maybe that conversation was enough. Most likely Maybe it isn’t healthy to “check up on” people from past relationships if they are, in fact, past relationships.

In all, I remain a child of the digital age with great optimism for the impact online community can have on physical community but as with all things I have to evaluate my intent and direction when I act. So as I delete and unsubscribe to “friends” with inappropriate posts I become more aware of what I publish and find myself thankful for privacy settings.

Happy Thanksgiving!


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