Group of people looking shocked at computer screen
Social media has become a part of everyday life for many us, allowing us to connect and make friends with people from around the world. It also allows us to quickly share organic information, letting us stay up to date with important events as they happen thanks to individuals providing real time information. Social media, and the connections we make through it, can also provide comfort to us during times of emotional vulnerability, as there is always a way for us to say the things that we need to say and always someone to talk with. But for all the benefits that social media brings us, not using social media responsibly can have real consequences that can affect our lives off of the internet.

While the internet used to be a means of expressing oneself through anonymity, social media has arisen with an assumed sense of transparency: people using legal names connecting with people they know both offline and online only. Despite this transparency, the internet brings us the urge to share, to reveal all the details and share our innermost secrets. This would be fine if our innermost secrets only amounted to bad poetry and confessions of wrongdoings when we were children; however, many have taken this sharing to reveal more, such as posting nude pictures. While this action may be fueled by a momentary lapse in judgment (perhaps brought on by alcohol) the affects, and who sees such photos, are much further reaching than just the follower list.

Any picture that is shared on the internet stays on the internet – forever. Even if you delete it off of your social media page, that picture can still be found through performing an online search. But, until you do delete that nude photo of yourself from your page, a simple search of your name would turn up your social media page and that photo. Not really the kind of impression one wants to make with a new or potential employer who decides to do a little research on you. Plus, that photo can also be shared by any of your followers or anyone else who comes across the photo and views your page. Such an act makes a great revenge as there is nothing that can be done to prevent that picture from being shared again and again.

Social media is a great tool that has enhanced our lives and allows us to communicate with people from around the world, allowing us to create new and lasting friendships as well as keep in touch better with family. But, it’s important to pay attention to what you post, remembering that pictures are very often shared and can easily be stolen so if you’re giving thoughts to posting that nude photo, you may want to give it a second thought.