The Immortality that is Social Media and the Internet

I have a number of social media accounts for various reasons. I have a Facebook account which I keep as private as possible and this is for my friends and family. I must be honest that even though it is private, I don’t always share as much as I like as friends of my friends, and who are not friends with me, can see some of what I share if my friends like it.

I have a twitter account and this is the account that I use the most as I enjoy meeting new people (I think I have come a long way from the introvert that I used to be). I enjoy the conversations, the jokes, the motivational quotes and pictures. I enjoy the fact that news is almost instantaneous.

I have an Instagram account  and I am still trying to get the hang of this as I don’t really take a lot of pictures. Yes , I also have G- Plus account (also not really used).

I have a Linked-In account for professional purposes.

And then I have this blog in which I try to remain largely anonymous. It is my way of trying to sometimes make sense of things that keep me up at night and a way of just clearing my mind. In as much as I try to keep it anonymous, I also don’t always share the intricate details of my life  and my deepest darkest thoughts.

Why?

Because this is social media and the internet and hence the purpose of this post.

The internet and social media for me is a great thing. It has opened a whole new world and has connected people from the deepest, most fartherest places (well those that have an internet connection anyway).

But it is not necessarily always good and what you record in social media and the internet doesn’t always go away by simply pushing the delete button.

Case in point, being the tweet sent out by Oscar Pistorius’ ex-girlfriend about him being able to lie for the last time (or something along those lines). Yes, she deleted it, but not before it was retweeted a number of times. Those retweets you cannot delete.

Our Mr Jacobs, @RBJacobs, from FNB and whose tweets I also quite enjoy, seemed to make a blunder yesterday with one of his tweets. Yes, it was tasteless. Yes, it was deleted. But again not after it was retweeted a number of times.

Let’s not overlook the fact that unless you actually give someone your passwords to all of your accounts; when you pass away, those accounts are still going to be active and available to the world to see (or at the very least your contacts whom you have allowed access to your accounts). Let’s just take Reeva Steenkamp’s twitter account for example- it is still open even though she has been dead for more than a year.

Also, so often what you say (most often in 140 characters) can be taken out of context and not in the way that you intended it to sound or what you meant at all.

Have you ever thought about what people can learn about you if they had to Google you? I Googled myself and obviously for business purposes, people know where I work and how to contact me. That in itself is a scary thought if someone chose to stalk (instead of contact me for business purposes.) I read quite a scary article about what people can find out about you, where you live and personal details, merely by what the pictures that you post on I. I read the article a while ago and cannot find the reference now.

It is actually quite scary how many personal details we share on social media and the internet with people who are actually strangers.

My Facebook profile does not even have my cell phone number but our website has my email address, telephone number, physical address, etc.

Even scarier is the fact that unless  (and God forbid), the internet crashes and deletes absolutely everything, everything that you have ever shared on social media  and  on the internet will live on to immortality. No amount of pushing the delete button or deactivating of your account is going to change that.

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