A few days ago, I was watching a talk show which occurred to my topic today. A group of Chinese media workers were together at the show talking effects of Social Media in nowadays.
Mr. Liang Wendao (journalist, social science researcher, writer, critique) said that Social Media made us re-think about the life we live in. His context was about celebrities showing off their children’s photos on social media first day they were born. To that case, Liang consider the new generation is now living in a time where there’s no privacy, meaning that your life has been forcefully sharing with others by your parents, other families and friends.
From there, I would like to bring my argument today, what is privacy on Social Media?
Notable the PRIVACY I am talking about here, is not the one we share with Google. (However it is an issue!) I mean for modern society, what would be considered emotionally private to human being?
Despite some social media user group emphasising they still value their privacy apart from sharing ‘words of wisdom’ online, but look at the fundamental rationale of Social Media, it IS meant for sharing people’s private life even when their friends are not around. To share joy regardless the distance, so to speak? Why Social Media, cause it’s for social life. Especially for younger generation, they grew up under this social network, they get used to letting people know what they are doing at any moment. Or even if you don’t want to tell people what you are doing, your friends will.
So in terms of whether someone is actively or passively sharing his privacy, I consider such boundary is getting blurry. Yet the details of our lives has been uploading ‘on the line’ (the gag from the film, Intern), this is certain. Then considering the definition of PRIVACY -A state in which one is not observed or disturbed by other people (from http://www.oxforddictionaries.com) – clearly we are being observed on Social Media. Therefore, the statement of ‘we are living in an era with no privacy due to social media’ could be largely agreed.
But what I see this non-private age, is that people could become more open to what they encounter in each of their lives – love, joy, fear, sadness, pain, awkwardness (which is something we share more than ever) – is now having other people to ‘bare with’ them. Psychologically speaking, facing the problem itself (no matter what it is) has always been one of the most popular treatment. And now Social Media is doing it for us if you are willing to share your emotions and thoughts with others.
Meanwhile, another guest at the talk show Mr. Ma Jiahui also said that, having our status stored online, people are no longer allowed to forget, which on the other hand, forgetting is a protective nature of human being when dealing with unhappiness.
Having more people know what stupid things you did indeed make it harder for you to forget, especially you or your friend also put your stupid photo on Facebook. Yet still, when this becomes norm, human beings might as well develop a new skill, or say acquire such wisdom, of laughing at the past.
Privacy was scary at some point as well, when sex tape leaked to the public or scandal exposed via social media, we were once amazed how ugly human being can be. But as time goes by, people get more tolerant to information like these, it became norm. Regardless whether human nature has twisted when people do sex tapes, at least it is morally acceptable for most of other people. It is after all none of other people’s business if one decided to film their private life.
Some people might say, hey, they filmed it, doesn’t mean they are willing to share it. But we have an old saying in China, if you don’t want people to know about what you have done, you’d better don’t do it in the first place. Again, no secrets are safe, somehow?
Social – it was private, Social Media – now it’s public, so what?