Privacy: How much is too much?

“Rather than resisting technology or fearing what might happen if youth embrace social media, adults should help youth develop the skills and perspective to productively navigate the complications brought about by living in networked publics. Collaboratively, adults and youth can help create a networked world that we all want to live in.”
Image Courtesy of Huff Post

This concluding quote to wrap up the “Its complicated” article is saying that based on the information given by Danah Boyd, teens and adults should share the cloud of social media rather than be separated in this virtual world. The title of this article is absolutely perfect for this article, because it really is more complicated than that. I am a direct source myself to this problem as I grew up in the era of social media and have seen its development first hand. There is many different sites and many different ways to express yourself. Growing up, my first introduction to this new world was Myspace, where you made a page that included a profile picture, a place to put your mood, and even a secret inbox to message other followers. I only followed close friends at first, and through sports I met other people from other schools, then following them. My network grew and grew which made myself become more public than I ever had. One day my dad asked me about the post I put on there and I then realized that many other adults started to monitor their kids as well! I was very annoyed sharing this space with other adults and so were my friends. We then migrated over to the newest and coolest social media which was twitter. At this time, many adults were only on Facebook and so we saw it as an opportunity to express ourselves freely since no adults could monitor our posts. Soon enough, the parents caught on and it became a huge problem amongst them and the school district. Then a form of private social media came out where you can not freely view peoples stuff, called snap chat. This is the only form of communication of social media today that me and my friends can send each other whatever we want, and our parents can’t do anything about it. It is also the only form of social media I use a lot today as adults, schools, and even government agencies have put heavy regulations on all the other forms of social media.

Given all I have said, the question I ask you now is, “how much monitoring of social media is too much?” Should parents be able to tell you what you can and can not post? Should parents be able to tell you if you can even have a social media? Now Boyd’s argument was extremely valid in that a shared network amongst kids and adults will bring them together, but every individual is different and everyone expresses themselves differently. If you tell a little kid in art class to draw exactly what to draw, he is more likely to defy your orders in the future and be fed up with having to abide by the rules given by the teacher. However, if you hand a kid a pen and a paper and tell them to draw whatever they want to, most likely the little kid will be more passionate and enthusiastic about the task given to him. If you restrict what your kids can say on social media, you are holding back their individuality and not letting them find themselves as a person. Now to add onto my point about freedom of press, there is some kids who express themselves in ways that society doesn’t see as right, such as putting drugs on Instagram or cursing people out on twitter. That is where the problem lies; how do you control these type of kids from going in the wrong direction? Coming back to what I said earlier, this is where it is up to each individual parent to decide how to do that, and in reality there is no right or wrong way to do this. Some parents are okay with it, some parents act oblivious to it, and some just take away the kids belongings until they learn their lesson.

Feeding off Boyd, I think her closing statement about how adults should help youth develop the skills and perspective to productively navigate the complications brought about by living in networked publics will help kids in the maturity process and therefore make them better people in the real world. In my life, I have encountered times when my parents have told me how social media will effect me later on, and instead of discipline they preach that it is my life and only you can control how others see you. They didn’t frustrate me or ground me, but rather let me prosper as an individual and learn that in time maturity will come and social media can be shared with adults. As I am now looking into my career path, It is important to keep my social media clean and to express myself in ways that will impress all my peers. I think the only answer to this big question is maturity in the sence that each individual will learn with time what is right and what is wrong to put on your social media.