Am I the only one who finds it a bit creepy that anyone who has your phone number has access to your WhatsApp? The other day I got a random message from a strange number and when I checked the person’s profile picture, it was someone I didn’t know. I didn’t reply the message, just blocked the number. But the feeling of being creeped out lingered, as it always does when I get the odd message from unknown people on my WhatsApp. And in my righteous discomfort, a thought popped into my head, ‘Girl, what are you even on about? You’re on social media’.
Oops. That’s true oh…
I have way more information about myself on social media as opposed to WhatsApp where I have only a display picture. Which you may or may not see. This got me thinking. Why was I bothered about the fact that someone who has my number may see only my display picture on WhatsApp, when possibly thousands have seen more about me on my other social media platforms—my current location, where I studied, what I studied, where I’ve travelled to, which one of my friends is getting married, what I had for dinner yesterday, who just had a baby, who just died, etc?
We have to be careful about not only the kind of information we pass across, but also the kind of image we project on our social media platforms. Many times we cannot help who sees our profiles and what is done with the information we have there. Of course this is especially for those of us whose profiles aren’t private. Although, even if your profile is private, you still have no control over what the people who have access to your profile do with your details. Isn’t it safer that what you put out there cannot be used against you, somehow? Though I can’t and won’t, some people have gone ham and boycotted every form of social media. Some have only stuck to LinkedIn and if you know anything about that, you know it gives absolutely no room for foolery.
Some writers and bloggers have argued that a blog (or anything internet-related, including social networks) isn’t a diary nor a journal. I agree but to only a certain extent. They say this is because the internet is unforgiving and it certainly never forgets, so you must use your discretion when putting any content on the Internet. I believe social media is your diary. So is your blog, but the truth is, even with your personal, conventional, ‘hard copy’ journal, there’s always the risk of someone seeing information you’d rather have as a secret. Therefore, you have to be careful with what you put in it. There are some things better left inside your head and I would say, treat your blog and social media platforms in the same way. You can talk about your goals, your visions, fears and even SOME inadequacies but write things there in such a way that if found, you’d still be able to hold your head up high. And when we do post pictures, we have to be OK with the kind of vibes that we give off in them. You can put up pictures that won’t hurt you eventually, pictures you know you would be able to defend years from now. Think twice, thrice, a hundred times before putting that picture you know would make people question your character; because even if you upload and delete in seconds, ah, there are some fast fingers that are desperately strategising your downfall.
Sometimes I feel sorry for people who are way younger. They’ve been exposed to all these so early and it’s easy to get carried away. But apply wisdom and discretion at all times. That picture that today, is #PepperDemGang (with the accompanying smiley 🌶🌶🌶), may tomorrow, make you wish you had gone for an #OniseIyanu type of picture instead.
I would love to know your thoughts on this. Please share below.