In an age in which we as a global community are socially connected at the hip, better yet, finger tip, the question is begged..are we too connected? Has social networking gone from asset to liability?
Social networking giants such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have unprecedently tied audiences together and channeled information which otherwise may not have been communicated. However, stories are becoming ever more prevalent where the sites are sources of transmitting information which in turn becomes harmful to the user. The First Amendment guarantees us the right to free speech. But the right appears to be anything but, instead, rather costly as we sit courtside and watch the private lives of public figures play out before our own eyes.
Perhaps, blame it on the era we live in where reality tv reigns supreme and the paparazzi are some of the most sought after individuals in Hollywood. We tend to find ourselves needing and feeling a sense of entitlement to the salacious juice in the lives of others.
Perhaps, blame it on the irresponsible behavior of the users for publicly displaying their private livelihoods in the oblivious hope of escaping judgment.
Which came first–the covetous post or the downhill marriage? The lewd picture or the ethics hearing? The #winning tweet or the termination of employment?
One thing is certain, as technology and communication continuously evolve, as it undoubtedly will, we must also evolve our individual levels of culpability. Not every thought is meant to be posted, tagged or retweeted. Nor is it necessarily up for comment or “like”.
In order to maximize the efficiency of social networking and continue to grow as a society, we must remain mindful to govern ourselves repsonsibly, both as givers and receivers in the age of information technology.