Why You Should Never Leave Your Phone at Work

technology-1940695_1280

I just recently started keeping my text previews on, for convenience.  I am all about efficiency. To me, it is so much easier to read what the person has told me just from looking at the screen rather than going through the effort of picking up the phone, unlocking it, looking at the message, and potentially accidentally sending an unintended read receipt.

This convenience, however, comes with a cost. I have to be careful about leaving my phone near my parents, in case a friend random texts me a message with a not-so-mom-friendly word in it. If I were to receive a text while showing someone a picture on my own, the first three lines of the message show up. I do not have anything to hide, but respect for my personal privacy – and the privacy of my friends who text me – is important to me.

This brings me to another point. What would happen if I left my phone at work or in a study room, and at that time, I conveniently received a personal text message from a friend? With how interconnected the world is today, it is so easy for just about anything to potentially go viral. Recently, an individual left her phone at work and got a series of very humorous but not work friendly text messages, and her phone screen went viral.

This taps into a lot of privacy issues, but social media is so powerful that anything from a kid commenting on his friend’s shoes to someone else’s phone screen could go viral in the blink of an eye and change your life. Fame, both in good and bad forms, can come to you without you even asking for it.

Daniel and his friend received a lifetime supply of Vans for their fame. This lady, however, may have lost her job. It is so important not only to watch what you post, to watch what others post or message of you, about you, and especially now – to you.

Advertisements

Instagram vs. Snapchat – And Why I Choose Instagram

instagram-1474231_1280

The other day, I was talking to my friend about how inconsistent my Instagram account looked. I pointed out how other individuals seemed to have a specific theme going on. One girl had a gray-white-green minimalist theme with a few splashes of color, and another girl had mostly blue-purple. “I need to post in a way to create a visual theme”, I said to her.

Little did I know that this is exactly what Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom did not want.

The Instagram user base has been growing, but its individuals are getting increasingly pressured to upload absolutely perfect and airbrushed images. Now, many feel that Instagram feeds are filled with fake and glamorized photos, and this pressure on users has resulted in Snapchat surpassing Instagram as the “most important” social networking platform for teenagers in 2016. The Snapchat experience was very different from that of Instagram’s – a low pressure, fun, and genuine way of showcasing your life, and the best part is that the content does not stick around forever.

Instagram’s updates have tried moving the platform closer to the short-lived and authentic personality of Snapchat. For example, Instagram started “Instagram Stories”, which is nearly identical to Snapchat stories. The application also has live video broadcasting and a messaging feature that erases a media message once it has been opened.

But I actually love the fact that Instagram is not as “fun” or “in the moment” as Snapchat. The fact that Instagram is becoming the place for aesthetic photo sharing is what makes this particular social media outlet so attractive. For me, Instagram is the place to post beautiful pictures I take pictures of my artwork or my surroundings, or to upload a cute picture with my parents. Instagram isn’t a place where I want to show a goofy video I took of my friend or to directly message people. I agree with the fact that Instagram photos can be unauthentic, but this unfortunate trend is seen in every social media outlet, including Snapchat. Instagram is where I can brand myself as an individual and have a beautiful collection of photos that I can easily view in a user-friendly manner – and I can view the profiles of my favorite celebrities, foodies, and fitness fanatics in that same way.

Social Media: The Double-Edged Sword

home-office-569153_1920 Social media comes with a multitude of benefits. It has brought tremendous marketing and monetary advancements to companies and brands of all sizes and is an incredible platform for individuals of all ages to network with one another. Not to mention how fun it is to tag your friends in memes on Facebook, and to upload artsy pictures of yourself from Atlanta’s Ponce City Market on Instagram.Once social media became an integral part of the world, however, we began to hear many words of caution, to avoid turning social media into a double-edged sword.

Once social media became an integral part of the world, however, we began to hear many words of caution, to avoid turning social media into a double-edged sword.

Don’t tweet that your entire family has gone on vacation, because this implies that your house is empty and is thus a prime spot for potential break-ins. Watch what pictures you put on social media, because future employers or schools can see everything. Or even better – change your Facebook name when you are applying, that way you cannot be found in the first place.

France is adding to the list of warnings. Under France’s laws, parents could face charges up to $46,456 and/or up to a year in prison for posting photos and details of their children’s lives online. The underlying issue? Lack of consent from their children.

The social media world for parents has grown exponentially, to the point where a parent’s commitment towards their children is often times questioned if they are not posting about them. In the social media world, however, every picture and post about a child, or anyone for that matter, is permanent and highly volatile. Therefore, posting about your children can create a digital identity for them that they did not necessarily agree to have.

Additionally, every post about a child, such a cute temper tantrum or an embarrassing but funny video, has the potential to go viral and further effects this digital identity.

When we post about ourselves, we are aware of what we are uploading and telling the world. Every post we make adds to our brand image. Not every high schooler or even millennial understands the implication and power of this fact, but they have the freedom to do what they please. Children do not have this freedom and therefore have no control or awareness over their own privacy and security.

The best way to combat this issue is to ask children for their consent and to establish a level of digital etiquette and understanding amongst family members. Perhaps a child does not want that embarrassing but funny video to be showcased online. I personally love being asked for consent before a goofy picture of me goes up on Facebook. In the same way, the best thing to do is to ask children if they are okay with certain images or videos going up on social media.