Sarah Grace Goolden
Technology has provided our generation with many benefits. The answer to any question you have lies in your pocket, and people can contact one another from opposite sides of the world. The result is a more educated and connected society. However, there are downsides to these privileges, the effects of which we will be able to observe in the years to come. One of those is our addiction to social media.
There is a general tendency to overshare amongst the current generation. Of course not everyone is guilty of this, but unlike any other past society, we have the means to announce exactly what we’re feeling. If you’re eating a delicious meal, there’s snapchat. If you’re upset because you failed an exam, all of your instagram followers can know instantly. While this can be positive, it also means the entire world is watching. What does that mean for the, “social media generation,” when they are applying for jobs or running for office? How can our transparency get our future adult selves in trouble?
Of course, it is already beginning to happen. A recent example is the video of congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in college, dancing in a music video. The resurface of it caused an uproar, many calling it inappropriate. If dancing in college is considered unseemly, imagine what your 2 a.m. Facebook rants about capitalism will garner. Like many parents tell their children, the internet is forever. And yes, things can be deleted but that does not necessarily mean you are in the clear.
This can be a good thing. As we have seen in recent years, some politicians have been guilty of blackface, sexual assault and derogatory remarks. It is not always a bad thing to bring up the past because it exposes the backwards views or inappropriate actions of people and that is something we need to be aware of when they are in a position of power. However, people can change and that complicates things.
If you think a future employer might not hire you or your reputation might be tarnished because of a picture of status, you probably should not post that thing. That’s common sense. If you vandalize a building, keep that to yourself. But what about dancing in a music video? What about Malia Obama’s secret facebook account which details her hatred for President Donald Trump? Being an adult in our age of technology does require us to give up some of our privacy, albeit we are doing it to ourselves.
Like the Hamilton song, “history has its eyes on you.” The future will tell what becomes of drunk selfies and texting screenshots but for now, we are going to be held accountable for our social media- whether that is a good or bad thing.