It is mind-blowing to see and hear about so many stories of cyber abuse: cyber bullying, cyber stalking, child pornography, sex trafficking, body shaming, baby shaming, etc. Yet people from all area codes and backgrounds continue to furnish unnecessary information on the web.
If #Google, #Facebook, #Twitter, #Instagram, #Tumblr and other social media platforms and engines require that their subscribers be at least 13 years of age to subscribe, then why are children under the age of 13 allowed to be displayed on social media? There are so many baby pics, and though the precious ones are adorable, they are not at the age to consent to have their picture taken just to flaunt on social media. Whatever happened to photo albums, or just storing them on devices?
When we share private pictures on social media, our children, teenage girls and boys, our houses, cars, and sadly, body parts that are meant for private viewing, what do we expect to happen? There is clearly a violation of human rights going on throughout social media platforms and sadly #parents are predominantly to blame. It seems as though common sense isn’t that common. I know that the internet, smartphones, and social platforms have amped up their apps to make them seem cool for all to simply have fun and share freely, but we must also think about the repercussions.
If there are no pictures of our vulnerable children shared on social media, then no one can have access to them. It might be a good idea to save the clap-backs, and simply be more responsible as it pertains to what we share on social media. Think about all of the perverts, serial killers, pedophiles, and even enemies, known and unknown, who are just waiting for that upload.
So, can we answer the question: is social media oversharing to blame for cyber abuse? Well, not exactly, because people choose to abuse and pose a threat to others with their own free will; however, we can agree that we do enable them to achieve their goals with the readily available information that we willingly supply the dark world. This is something to think about. We need to take our power back and set boundaries to help protect our children, families, and our own reputations.
We have the power to change how social media affects us all. What we put in is what we get out. The more we put in, the more we get out; the less we give, the less harassment and abuse we will incur. It’s not a hard issue to approach and work through. We also choose how much we supply these big social media engines. We need to talk more, visit people on foot, by car and really see how people are doing. The only ways for cyberbullying to subside is for us to share less information and protect the very vulnerable amongst us.
It is undeniable that as a society we all share responsibility for the abuse of our amendment rights. We say way too much, lack communication skills and discernment. We overemphasize our faiths and fail to be the change we want to see in the world. We can’t only talk about our faith, we must live it out. We must be an example to our children. It is normal to be curious but if we take the mantle and be the face of self-control then our children will value their privacy more and refrain from posting things that have no business on social media. If we limit what we post, we can limit the flack, abusive comments, and chances of our children being exposed to cyber bullies, and perpetrators.
No one likes to be attacked, so we shouldn’t give people who make a career of trolling blogs and social media accounts any more ammunition. Social oversharing, the bad habit that has many faces and victims alike, can soon be another issue to prohibit at the executive levels of government. But first, we should at least consider prohibiting this bad habit within our own homes.
With your safety in mind,
Crystal Elizabeth Melville