• Question: Can the entire exposure of our lives through social networks have some serious impact in our future?

    Asked by jpreve to Catriona, Damien, Hannah, James, Jason, Nayeli, Sarah, Sophie, Zaf on 25 Jan 2018.
    • Photo: Catriona Silvey

      Catriona Silvey answered on 25 Jan 2018:

      That’s a good question. I think at the moment, it’s hard to say. I’m at the age where a lot of my friends are having babies, so my social network feeds are full of pictures and details about these children’s lives – it’s a bit different from my generation, where parents might just have a few embarrassing photos in the house to show to future boyfriends/girlfriends! It’s mind-blowing to think about how in the future, it might be relatively easy to access a complete social network record of someone’s life – everything from baby photos to silly things they might have said online when they were younger. We need to think more about how to balance privacy with the positive aspects of social networks, since people aren’t going to stop using them any time soon!

    • Photo: Damien Hall

      Damien Hall answered on 26 Jan 2018:

      I agree with Catriona–we need to think about balance, as social networks are fantastic, but they also have downsides. Because of that, there are aspects of my life that I don’t talk about on Facebook or Twitter at all–not even once. I don’t want to lose control of that information, which I would if I put it on a social network. But, outside those aspects, I love using them. They let me stay in touch easily with friends and family all over the world, and that wasn’t easy even as recently as when I was a child 🙂

    • Photo: Sarah Knight

      Sarah Knight answered on 26 Jan 2018:

      Good question. I’m not an expert on social media, but I do think that using social networks can sometimes cause difficulties. For example, if you expose some aspect of your life — or write a comment or opinion — that you later regret, people can easily find it. This might embarrass you, or might even have more serious consequences, such as certain people not wanting to give you a job. Some people also worry that by constantly comparing our lives to the lives of other people that we see online, we make ourselves unhappy and anxious. But if you use social media carefully, and remember that nobody’s life is as perfect as it might look from their social media accounts, then social media can be fun and a good way to learn things and keep in touch with friends.