Ever since the Snowden circus, there has been no shortage of fear, hate and mistrust towards our government. Lately, almost on a daily bases I see some ridiculous meme depicting Snowden telling people not to trust the government, or not to use social services like Facebook, or Instagram because they are not safe from the government. This message is being relayed via the image of an individual who is hiding in a country that places human rights and privacy somewhere at the bottom of the list. This is the person we should be listening to?
Here is what I’m here to tell you today. The problem is not the government…Well not entirely. The government, while questionable perhaps in some of it’s actions, is doing what it has to do to keep this country safe. You can call it what you want, you can meme about it how you like, but the problem is not them, the problem is the people are failing over to the most common thing people tend to do…React, instead of learn, get educated and act accordingly. Just to be clear, I am not suggesting that any organization should have free roam. I’m sure most if not all of us can agree that there is a need for the government to have certain extensions on the boundaries, which in turn creates the part of the problem that is on their side, being that the information is not always used appropriately and the people want accountability. But as I said, I want to address the issue that I have not seen anyone address.
All this energy people are wasting complaining about the government and their actions and yet, there are real threats out there that are trying to get at your information with less than honorable intentions. Again don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying the government should be allowed to go unchecked. There should be some process of checks and balances, but we should not be tying their hands behind their backs. The only thing we will be doing is allowing terrifying and real threats access to our country. So while you are busy complaining about the government spying on you with the intention of keeping you alive, the hacker somewhere in the world is getting access to your personal information and unlike the government, is guaranteed to use it for something bad.
So…Getting back to being informed as the most important thing. Regardless of what your beliefs are, knowledge is and has always been power. Do not listen to memes and sources such as Snowden. He’s not even in the country that gave him a life and trusted him with top secret information. But again, that’s my opinion. The important information that I want to relay is that there is nothing to fear about social media. It’s no different than letting your kids walk to school alone, or crossing the street, or riding a motorcycle, or swimming in the ocean. For all of these activities and more, we take certain precautions in life to remove as much of the threat as possible. We educate our children about not talking to strangers, we look both ways before crossing the street, wear a helmet on a motorcycle and hope you don’t end up on Shark Week.
Social Media should be no different. Make sure you have appropriate security settings, don’t post naked pictures of yourself, be careful with personal information that you post, you can even remove geo tags from your photos and when in public remember that cameras are everywhere.
Social Media is a part of our lives now and it’s only going to get more intertwined in our lives. We should not be afraid of it, but just like any other thing we do in life…Educate yourself and take appropriate precautions.
Yes we all want the government to use their “power” appropriately and be accountable for their actions. At the same time we can’t close our eyes to the reality that criminals and those that would terrorize us do not care about that and will not wait for approvals and explanations. While this shouldn’t be used as an excuse, it’s reality, and whatever form the actions of our government may take in order to protect this country will probably never be 100% in our control. So instead of telling each other to stop using Facebook, Twitter, or whatever your social platform of choice is, learn how to protect your privacy and continue living your life.
Check out these links for some great info about your online privacy.
- Click here to read tips from Microsoft
- Check out Privacy Rights Clearinghouse for a plethora of information
Editorial Disclaimer: Any views or opinions expressed by authors on Mobile Buzz Guru are the writers’ own and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Mobile Buzz Guru or its affiliates.