I LOVE social media. It’s the wild west in cyberspace. Not only can I post anything I want on this blog, my Facebook account, my Twitter account(s) or any number of other outlets (look to the right) I subscribe to; but I can search and monitor (virtually) anything anyone else is saying, tweeting, video-taping, etc. as well – and all while talking to others through the same venues about what I’m seeing, reading, experiencing… (you get the idea).
Seeing my adoration of social media, a friend of mine posted this article from The Eastern Echo on my Facebook wall. I assume she did it to rib me a little for what looks like backlash against social media outlets like Facebook, MySpace and especially Twitter for not having more robust security options. But the writer of The Echo brings up some pretty solid points.
The Echo writes:
…like any responsible organization, Facebook finally updated its privacy settings a few years ago after users encountered plenty of embarrassing situations. You can now control which of your friends are able to see those great pictures of you passed out on the bathroom floor with genitals scrawled on your face.
But the truth is, Big Brother isn’t watching anymore, he’s tweeting.
Twitter, too, has security options that can allow users to select who can see their tweets. Unfortunately, people just don’t seem to know about them — or even worse, they don’t care.
They go on to say:
So should we all delete our Twitter accounts?
In my opinion, that would be the easy way out. …
But we can’t continue blaming every new social networking site for our blatant misuse of its technology. The answer isn’t to stop using the Internet, it’s to start using it more responsibly.
And parents? Don’t blame the Internet every time your kid is caught sending naked pictures of themselves to their friends. It’s not Twitter, it’s you.
So, here’s my take (as written on The Eastern Echo’s article post):
It’s not Facebook’s, MySpace’s, or Twitter’s fault that the “victims” of such horrible, depraved mismanagement of mental scruples are eventually caught. Social media is exactly that… SOCIAL. If you stand up at your next cocktail party and announce that you’re getting breast implants… well… it’s out there and the repercussions are yours to deal with. Similarly, you can’t charge Twitter (et al) with keeping idiots form incriminating themselves or filtering content to our children.
It’s simply a matter of ethics. How long has it been since an Ethics 101 course was over-booked? Can we blame parenting? Sure, but don’t forget all of the lackadaisical marketing executives, most media outlets and virtually all of Hollywood.
The future of communication is going to be driven through social media. Heck, I even found this article through a friend of mine on Facebook. So, technically, it’s my responsibility, as a marketer and as a role model for following generations to participate in social media with ethical, reasonable candor. It’s my responsibility to educate and to foster those values.
Long lost are the days of plopping the kids in front of the boob-tube and call it babysitting. Because the boob-tube has been replaced with YouTube and we KNOW what can be found there.
There are a lot of unethical, unreasonable people out there. There always has been. But we can’t expect the social media developers to protect us. That’s our job.
Posted and disseminated…
Food for thought.
Keep Cooking (reasonably ethical conversations?)
Andrew B. Clark
The Brand Chef