Above is a quote from “Paris” a smash hit off the acclaimed album Watch The Throne. The album is the birth-child of Kanye West and Jay-Z’s 2011 collabo and is, in my opinion, one of the best things to come out of 2011. Kanye is famous for his loud and opinionated lyrics, actions, and public statements and it seems as if his actions represent a general trend that is occurring. As people become more and more comfortable on the internet, it seems that they are becoming more and more comfortable expressing their every thought, feeling, vision, and action through this medium.
It seems as if Facebook posts, Tweets, etc. have generally become more revealing as time goes on. “Revealing” is a painfully general word whose context is more loaded than one may think upon first skim. People are revealing a ridiculous amount of information about themselves and their opinions without seemingly giving it much thought otherwise. As my only window into this world is my own list of “Friends” gaggle of “Followers,” etc., I will use these as examples (anonymous, of course) to prove the point I am trying to make. I know people who post their street addresses in their “Info”. I also know people who post pictures of their five year old child in their “Summer 2011 Album,” and have done so every year prior. I also know people who #vent about their employers and express vulgarities and profanities through “twitpics”.
As I have remained fairly quiet since my MySpace days in middle school, I have years worth of observations from which I draw my conclusions. I sit back and observe, and I try and remain, what I consider to be, comparatively closed and reserved on these said sites. I observe people’s posts, their friends’ reactions to their posts and their reaction to their friends’ reactions. In conversing with several people about this interaction on social media sites, it amazes me that, even after revealing so much and posting details as intimate and/or minute as doing laundry, people are taken aback when their “friends” use their information against them in some way.
Is the sometimes painful and offensive, but almost always revealing truth that is typed out over the internet, the same truth that is spoken to someone’s face in a conversation, whether it be friendly or confrontational? Is a person justified in feeling as if they have been “stalked” if they have put all of their personal information out there for everyone to see? In my opinion, the answer to both of these questions is NO! Anyone can say anything to whoever they want in any words they wish over the internet. In no way am I saying that their words are less hurtful if they aim to offend (even of used in a generic way). What I am saying is that their belief that they are being “real” in saying what they feel is not even relevant. It is most often these people that seem to accuse other people of “stalking” their pages. This statement boggles my mind, for, if their information is posted as carelessly as it usually is, other people are bound to look at it and use it in some way in an interactive context.
It makes me wonder if the level of comfort that people seem to feel has been aggrandized by the media’s warmth towards honesty that I mentioned at the beginning of my thought. The desire to be like our icons who we see being brutally honest seems to be manifesting itself on our beloved social media websites and I question whether or not this is as positive as people seem to consider it, everyday of my life. I contemplate whether or not it is good and/or socially healthy every time I update my status or tweet something from my iPhone, and I make sure I check myself with every piece of my life that I post. I try to make sure that I do not say anything that may offend anyone, while still getting out what I wish to say and remain in relative accordance with social norms. In no way does my attempt at staying relatively private over this social platform exempt me from slipping up and posting something revealing (thankfully, there does exist a delete button). My only intention is to keep it real.