Privacy settings, Circles, blocking, invitations, custom publications, tethered and hidden links—if you’re reading this right now, you have successfully made it past some of the items on the list. The evolution of the social media experience has always been the creation of a more “tailored” networking experience for the end user. When first conceived, social networking sites like Facebook or Friendster had little customizable privacy options, half a decade on and the options are aplenty. Yet to some, the current set of privacy tools is just not enough, which then begs the question, with all these viewing restrictions that one may impose on others (usually without their knowledge), how social is social media?—and are all these measures counterproductive to the social networking ideal?
Defined as the sharing of opinions, insights, experiences and other perspectives with one another, social media herald an age of interconnectedness unlike anything humanity has ever seen before. This model worked well and consequently sent the world into a social media frenzy where everyone and everything vied to be on it. But as it turns out, while ideals looks ripe on paper it doesn’t exactly play out as rosily in reality. People began to realize that they’ve got some very nosey neighbors in their backyard, and or that adding their boss wasn’t such as good idea, or that the “nice” old man who lives in the southern county is actually a pedophilic stalker. Such malicious and voyeuristic attempts on the social networking market prompted the authorities into action.
In 2010, after much egging, Facebook reworked their privacy settings to allow you to post discrete messages and discriminate against who you want to have viewing your content specifics. In 2011, Goggle launched social media site Google+, allowed for greater discrimination in the forms of Circles. Social networking got a whole lot safer—and a whole lot more tedious (well not that tedious, but you know what I mean). With now sharing muddled in a web of constraints and buttons, the ideal of sharing is not longer the same as what it was back when the first social media sites first took flight. Therefore, in some sense, heightened privacy settings do work counterproductive to the social media paragon.
But that’s not say the increased control over the posting and viewing options are bad, they’re good in fact and in many cases a mandatory option over what is humanity’s failing as a humanistic society. Ill conceivings condoned though the lack of action against it, has to be mitigated by security and privacy settings on media platforms like the one in mention. And this is the principle reason why counterproductive measures to the ideal social media state are necessary.