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Please Respect My Privacy...Social Media Isn't for Everyone

Posted on August 2, 2016 at 12:00 AM

Please Respect My Privacy…Social Media Isn’t for Everyone

By Tracy L. Darity

I was watching one of those judge shows a few years ago and a woman was suing her son for posting a video of her to his Facebook page. It was a harmless video of her dancing at a family gathering. He thought the video was cute and left it up. After several attempts to get him to take it down she finally decided to take him to court.

Around that same time I was at a party and I took some pictures and posted them to Facebook. Later that day I received a phone call from one of my cousins asking me to please remove the pictures. Someone had seen them, knew she wasn’t online, and thought she should know. At the next gathering she asked that I not take pictures of her because she didn’t want to be on social media. I assured her I wouldn’t put the pictures online if she didn’t want me to.

Another instance of someone wanting a picture removed came when I posted photos from a church event onto the church Facebook page. One of the members, who is on Facebook, asked that a picture of her and her husband be deleted. Grant it, she has posted pictures of them together, but for whatever reason she wanted the picture taken down. No problem, I honored her request.

In these instances it didn’t make sense to me that these people were so adamant about not being on Facebook, but I respected their decision. If a person has made the choice not to be on social media then they should expect a certain level of privacy and we should respect their wishes. Even if a person is online but does not want a photo shared, respect that decision also. For those of us on social media, we must understand that we made the decision to make certain aspects of our lives an open book to the world, but we must also understand that not everyone feels the need to do so. It doesn’t matter if it is a spouse, significant other, family member, friend or child; people have the right not to have their lives plastered all over the internet.

So where is this coming from? This morning Erica Dixon (Love & Hip Hop Atlanta) hopped onto Periscope to record her daughters first day of school. Emani shied away from the camera because she didn’t want to be recorded. Eventually she asked her mom to please stop. Erica respected her request and turned off the camera. Remember those days when we recorded these milestones in our kids’ lives and then stored the pictures or video away in a box, only to be seen when family and friends came by? Now people think the whole world needs to share in these special moments, as they are actually taking place.  No do overs or editing allowed.

After I closed out that scope another alert popped up. In this video the host was talking about people not wanting to have their picture on social media. In her opinion, if you are in her life you have waived all rights to privacy. She is going to post pictures of you and her together on social media no matter what you say. If you do not want to be seen with her then you have something to hide. Really? Well remember the scenario above about my cousin? She had absolutely nothing to hide; she just wasn’t comfortable with social media. Here we are years later and she is now on Facebook posting away. A lot of times people who don’t understand social media give the most resistance, and we have to respect how they feel.

In this scopers case she was really trying to say that if you’re dating or married to someone and they do not want you posting pictures of him or her, then it is much more sinister. This person has something to hide and is denying your relationship. If that is the case then he or she is probably doing a whole lot more off of social media to denounce your relationship. So instead of trying to prove to the world that you are together, you may want to get offline and figure out what’s really going on. For those of you that think this way, let me put you on to something. I know men (and women) who post every aspect of their relationships online. We know what their breath smelt like when they woke up that morning and what was the last thing they said to each other before going to bed at night. We have experienced every dinner, concert, festival vacation, they have ever attended, and guess what, he or she is the biggest whore in town. Or like they say theses days, community dick/punnany.  Posting all these intimate moments has done nothing but opened the door for outsiders to want what you have. Posting your personal business doesn’t prove to the world that you are together; in some cases it just invites the spirit of envy and jealousy into your home.

As I stated earlier, people have a right to expect a certain level of privacy. The scoper also pointed out that she feels the same way about her friends who don’t want to be seen with her in pictures, and that she takes this as a form of betrayal to the friendship. There could be many reasons why someone doesn’t want that innocent picture of you two at lunch posted. Maybe she called in to work or decided to take an extra-long lunch. You’ve posted the picture of you two laughing it up and now the nosy coworker knows she wasn’t in the conference room on a call. Maybe she has an ex-boyfriend who tends to show-up wherever she is…I’ve read the horror stories. Or could it be she doesn’t think she’s that photogenic and just doesn’t want her picture out there for the world to see.

I took a course on social media effects and if people knew half of what is happening with the information posted online, they would probably shut down their pages. There are databases that store every image we post so companies can build image recognition programs. Some are so sophisticated that they can identify you based on your body type and movements. The government can run a picture taken from a surveillance camera and narrow it down to likely people based on images and information posted on social media. Do you think those Facebook challenges just appear from nowhere? Think again, they are all orchestrated to get information on you. Who your family members are, close friends, coworkers. Throwback Thursday’s and flashback Fridays help with age progression technology. Marketers use your pictures to learn where you shop, eat, vacation, etc. Even criminals have deciphered how to use your need to share everything in your life, against you. Those posts asking you about your first car, first best friend, favorite sport, etc., are giving thieves the answers to your online security questions. While this scoper is concerned with loyalty, the neighborhood thief could be raiding her best friend’s house.

Social media has caused us to view things in a different way, but no matter how lax you are in what you share, remember, what you put out there about you is your business; what you post about others is theirs. That story about the mother suing her son, guess what, she won the case. If someone asks you not to post their image on social media, or asks that you remove a photo or video of them and you refuse, you may just find yourself in court. Keep it simple and respect peoples wishes, they don’t owe you an explanation why. If it bothers you that much, maybe you have the problem and not them. In the meantime, for those against their picture being posted, when the cameras go up, slide left and get out of the shot.

So what say you? What are your thoughts on posting pictures without consent? Do you honor your friend’s requests? Have you jeopardized friendships over social media? Is this a conversation that needs to be had among friends and lovers?

If you agree with this article—please like, if you have an opinion—please comment, and if you with me—please share. I would love to know your point of view. Also, check-out my other blogs on A View From Tracy’s Point.

Peace and Blessings,




Tracy L. Darity is the author of three novels, He Loves Me He Loves Me Not!, Love...Like Snow in Florida on a Hot Summer Day, and The Red Bear Society. Available in print and e-book. To learn more, visit www.TracyLDarity.com



Categories: Life's Musings

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