The majority of us who are not living under rocks are in touch with smartphones. With these wonderful devices we are capable of some wonderful, yet terrifying things. One popular app that I too will say is a guilty pleasure of mine is Instagram. “What is Instagram?” I doubt you are asking, well let me explain it to you. Instagram is a form of social media through pictures. It’s like an online photo album of our own, where we can edit and upload pictures of our choosing. On this app are pictures that include: selfies, food pics, and group outings in the dungeons of fraternity houses. Sounds great right? Well according to some people, not so much.
Maybe we should define “creepy” first. I personally see it as a synonym with the word “nosy.” To be a creep to me would mean you enjoy spending your free time searching through other people’s information, in this case pictures. The online definition is a little bit more specific. Creepy: “causing an unpleasant feeling of fear or unease.”
— Bill Wolff (@billwolff) September 23, 2014
In this frightening, but completely believable article one mother claims pictures of her infant were STOLEN and then used to portray the child of someone else. Who do you call? The police? Or the copyright police? Not sure. Jenny claims she reached out to Instagram, and got an anything but helpful response from them. I believe it’s hard to be mad at a corporation that deals with millions of users daily.
What Instagram has shown me is that as a society we love doing creepy things, and knowing what everyone else is doing! Is that a bad thing? I guess not since everyone seems to be in on it. When mothers such as Jenny complain about the usage of her infant’s picture, who is really to blame? Of course it is strange that anyone would want to steal the pictures of an infant they do not know and claim the child as their own, but we also have to take into account what we are putting out on the internet for strangers to see. Clearly there is a lack of privacy issue, but most users are well aware of this blurred line between what is “private” and what isn’t.
Most of the major role players are anonymous, so it’s not clear who they are or how to reach them. But those who do reveal themselves are almost always teenage girls. Oftentimes, tween and teen role players like these come from a broken home, where their parents are either divorced or the child has been abused, says psychiatrist Gail Saltz. “The idea that an adolescent can create an identity online and take advantage of that anonymity does not surprise me,” says Saltz, author of Anatomy of a Secret Life: The Psychology of Living a Secret Life.
Scrolling through my Instagram’s newsfeed I see people upload baby pictures all the time captions including cries of how they want their nonexistent child to be “that cute.” Or fake Instagram pages of various people. It brings up the question, where do we draw the line of ethics between what is okay to upload, and what isn’t?
I’m curious what everyone’s take is on social media, considering just about all of us seem to use it in some sort of fashion. Are you cautious about what you post? Or do you feel safe enough where you’re items are private.