I opened Facebook the other day and was greeted by a message from my cousin in Egypt saying: “Hey, I came across this video on Youtube, and I’m pretty sure it’s you. Is it?”. This message was accompanied by a link to a Youtube video that I was in. This was a complied video of funny pranks that my friends and I pulled throughout the semester on our friends. We used it for an event for an organization we were in, and figured it would be easier to watch at the event if we posted it on Youtube and played it from there. I was literally in the video for about 5 seconds and my name appeared in the credits at the end of the video. The fact that my Egyptian cousin randomly came across this video (that we never thought anyone would actually watch on Youtube) is WAY beyond me and it really made me stop and think about how the internet truly does connect everybody around the world.
Imagine a world without Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Google, and all those other websites we log into on a daily basis. For us, it would truly feel like we were living in the stone age. We wouldn’t have a way to connect with our friends, family, favorite TV stars, or anyone really. However, the internet is very much alive in our everyday lives and plays a huge role in keeping us connected with the world. As I stated earlier, websites like Youtube allow people to share their thoughts, feelings, music, talents, advice, and much more to people literally around the entire world. Once you post a video up on Youtube, it is instantly available for the whole entire world to view; simply by entering some keywords, selecting it, and pressing play. Youtube has made it SO easy to connect with people that we would otherwise never be able to connect to.
Despite all of this though, I’m not really sure if I find this readily available connection to be amazing or scary though. Of course it’s wonderful that we can connect to our loved ones no matter where they’re located in the world. However, do we ever think before we post pictures on Facebook or upload videos on Youtube?..the question is probably no. Most people do not realize how many people can see what we post each and everyday on these websites. Not only can our families in distant countries find us on Youtube, but possible employers or universities can (and do) find things on these websites and link them back to us.
My cousin’s message telling me that she found me on a random video on Youtube really made me think twice about who’s looking at my information/pictures/videos/etc online and who CAN look at them if they chose to. Therefore, we truly do need to be careful of what we put out there on the internet, because the internet keeps no secrets.