Monday, October 28, 2013

The Dangers of Sharing Online

Image courtesy of Steven Volk, CTIE at Oberlin College.
Many people are completely unaware that what they post on social media sites can affect their personal safety and even ruin their image as a person. Giving away too much information and misinterpretations can lead to failed job searches and personal safety hazards days or even years later in the future. Reckless online sharing is making many people’s personal safety and reputations vulnerable because most people do not take into consideration that what they share online is available to anyone.

The current news is filled with personal safety articles about problems with online sharing. In one case, a grandma’s house was robbed because of a Facebook picture of money her granddaughter posted. The girl was obviously not thinking about what she was doing and made a very dumb decision. Have you ever posted a picture of money for fun? If so, I highly suggest you delete it for your safety. This is an important example of how people do not think about possible outcomes when they post something and how it can severely hurt them.

Posting images online can also lead to bad misinterpretations and threaten people’s reputations. More and more employers are now using social media sites to look at potential employees. It is a quick way to sort through job applications and is a very rich information source of a person’s personal life. A survey done by Careerbuilder found that the main reasons employers disregarded candidates was for posting inappropriate pictures or information and any content about drugs or alcohol. The survey also found that employers mainly use Facebook to research candidates and that there was a 22% increase between 2008 and 2009 in employers using social media sites to look at candidates. Most people, especially people looking for jobs, need to make sure that they are aware that employers can easily access anything they put on social networking sites. For example, there can be big misinterpretations and the employer can get the wrong idea about someone because they liked a picture years ago. People have the responsibility to think of the information that they are posting and consider if it can negatively affect them in any way in the future.

Despite some of the bad things that can be a result of social media sites, there can also be good things. For example, a granddaughter of an elderly couple who was robbed and verbally assaulted helped catch the thief by posting a description of the robber on her Facebook account. The man was tracked down the following week and arrested. The police also issued a statement that said that they are glad when crime information is posted on social networking sites. However, in most cases, the bad significantly outweighs the good when it comes to the sharing of personal information online. Everyone is being affected by online sharing including little kids. Some parents post baby pictures and give lots of information about their child which allows the child to be tracked and have a digital footprint before they even know what a Facebook is. And who knows, when they grow up they may not want all this information about them out on digital media sites so adults have to be aware of what they are posting too. People also need to watch what other people post about them. Has anyone ever posted a picture about you? You may want to check because other people's photos can hurt your reputation just as badly as the photos you post. Everyone needs to make sure that their image and reputation is untarnished on their profile and on other people's profiles as well.

More and more people are joining social media sites every day and the sites are only going to grow. Many of the photos and comments added are not thought about and can potentially affect a person’s future and personal safety. After doing research for this blog, I noticed myself that there were lots of hidden consequences that are associated with online sharing that I did not even know of. As a teenager becoming more involved in digital media, I realized that it is very important to protect your online reputation. Online users of all ages need to be aware of what they post on the internet and realize how online sharing can be dangerous. They need to keep their image as a person clean and not jeopardize their future.

Conclusion. Updated 11/13/2013

Digital citizenship has a lot of importance because it can affect your life. Because of this, it is important that people do not share information recklessly in order to prevent their life from being altered in negative ways. After reviewing the comments on my post, I realized that I could have tightened some areas up in my post more. Other than that, the comments were all positive and they did not disagree with my opinion so my opinion was not changed. However, the comments did clarify a part of my opinion on the issue. One of the comments asked me which situation was more of an issue: Parents posting information about their children or people trying to look for jobs but are denied because of inappropriate pictures or posts on their social media sites. After I thought about this, I decided that people trying to look for jobs but are denied because of inappropriate pictures was more of a problem. It made me look at this topic in a different way and I understood it better after I answered the comment. I thought my argument was engaging because it brought up a serious issue that not many people do not think about and the feedback I got was all positive. I did do some other research to give the people who commented on my blog extra information. I was interested in what I found and I learned some new things about my topic. I feel like blogging is a respectful way to share your opinion and see other people's opinions on the issue. Most of the comments are friendly and give constructive criticism which can help you understand your topic more and see what other people are thinking. It is quick and a good way to connect with other people.


  1. Hello Thing5,

    I really liked how you mentioned that employers look at applicants social media profiles because I think that it is a grow problem especially for teenagers looking for jobs but are quickly turned down after a few clicks on facebook. What do you believe is a bigger problem, Parents posting personal information about their babies or people apply for jobs but are not hired because of bad social media?
    I really enjoyed your blog.

    1. Hi rudybasketball22,
      Thank you for commenting on my post. Personally, I believe that people applying for jobs but are not hired because of bad posts is more of a problem. While parents can post embarrassing photos or information about their kids, I think that they are smart enough to not post anything too bad that can severely affect their kid's future and possible job opportunities. However, when people looking for jobs post something bad, it can immediately affect them and overall they are more likely to post something bad on their own social media account than parents posting something bad about their family or children on their social media account. This is a pretty good source that you might want to check out. It has some different opinions about parents sharing information about their kids online.

  2. Hello Thing 5,

    I like that there were facts to support your point throughout the paper. I do agree that people should be careful about what they post, but if you do make a mistake, can you ever get this picture back? I'd really like to know whether you can remove a certain thing from your digital footprint permanently. Thanks for your contribution.

    1. Hi TheNarwhalKid,
      Thank you for reading my blog and commenting on my post. To answer your question, I think that you can rebuild most of your image, but if you posted something very bad it might stay. That's why it's important to watch what you post because you really don't know if you will be able to repair your image since it is so circumstantial. You can permanently remove some things from your digital footprint, but most likely you will not be able to remove everything. This is a pretty interesting article because it talks about how teens in California are given a second chance to delete what they post:


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