The Value of Internet Privacy

April 12, 2012
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Who remembers the days of old, when the Internet did not exist, children played outside in the fresh air, and people actually read newspapers? The children—or rather, teenagers—of modern society have grown up in a world dominated by a fast pace introduced by the Internet. They are preoccupied, spending time on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. The Internet has definitely expanded the minds of young and old people alike, yet it has created a nuisance that will only be amplified within the ensuing decade. Social networking websites distract teenagers from not only pressing tasks such as homework and learning about the world in which they live, but they have created an arena to publicly display provocative and risky behavior.

Most websites like Facebook have a clear intention: they exist to create a communal place where young adults can communicate all the information about their day-to-day lives. Teenagers today, however, seize the opportunity to post unsettling images of risky behavior, including underage drinking and smoking. It is indeed one’s own prerogative to publish personal information on the World Wide Web, but when this information is damaging to his or her personal image, it might not be in their best interest to display it on such a global network. While a good reputation is not important to everyone, even more consequences result from posting lewd photos on social networking sites. A growing number of colleges and work places are asking applicants to provide their usernames and passwords to such sites, in an effort to develop a clear picture of each applicant’s priorities. If a college applicant allows access to his or her Facebook account, and the college discovers that the applicant engages in constant partying and other dangerous behavior, this ruins the chance of acceptance. Furthermore, if the applicant refuses to allow access to his or her account, it becomes clear to the college that questionable material may be posted online.

Perhaps the most disturbing thought is that classmates of mine, ones who appear innocent during school, are perpetrators of this offense. Each weekend a new album is posted devoted to the previous night’s party that involved heavy consumption of alcohol. Of course, it is not a crime to drink liquor, but it is a crime when teenagers under the legal age of 21 drink. They choose to post their exploits on the web, which verifies that they think that their actions are acceptable. Teens today must realize that both privacy and abiding by certain guidelines are virtues. I am not saying that I am a completely perfect person, but I can assure readers that I do not partake in such activities, nor do I post scandalous information on the Internet. I have chosen to focus on my studies, and if this means abstaining from pernicious actions, then so be it. I do not strive to conform to my classmates who present themselves in an unflattering light online; I am an individual, and I plan to remain true to myself.

I have absolutely no intention of criticizing people through this article, although my point of view is clear. It is just purely shocking that while some people are concerned with college applications, others display themselves on the web in an unsettling light. My advice to readers is to be aware of who can and cannot see your information on Facebook, whether it be an address, phone number, or certain pictures. The use of such social networking sites is expanding, and will continue to expand; therefore, it is implicit that teenagers remain abstemious regarding their implementation of social networking sites. They are, after all, available for social aspects.





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