What does privacy mean to us in the era of social media? Practically nothing. If you decide to clear or end your relationship in a tiny metal tube flying above the clouds, beware that your story may go public. Bored and tired people would do anything to entertain themselves, even post an overheard quarrel on their Twitter. Nowadays social network privacy is becoming a huge concern for our society. It is not only a question of law or online shopping safety but also a controversial ethical question.
Kelly Keegs, who has a Twitter profile followed by 23.8 thousand readers, decides to entertain herself by posting a timeline of such a scandal. She notices a couple talking angrily and starts to quote them. The story begins as an ordinary quarrel, but then it comes to the point where a third part appears. The girl shouts with her voice trembling from tears: “Ok, then I’ll ask Charlotte and check if your stories match!” Looks like she suspects her boyfriend of having an affair. The ending of the story is rather happy. When the plane finally takes off, the couple seems to overcome all the misunderstandings. They are drinking Bloody Mary and kissing time from time in an absolute silence.
But this story is not about a loud quarrel in the plane, it is about everything private going public. There is only one way of keeping your social network privacy—do not use social media. But even if you do, other people may consider something you wear, say or do interesting and post it to their Twitter. How ethical is this? Well, it is a difficult question. It is OK if you share a photo of a girl in funny Halloween costume or a video of a brilliant street musician. These people know they attract attention, as they are actively seeking it. But this couple in the plane probably did not want to be seen and discussed by at least 23 thousand people.
You may say that they should just have waited until a car ride back home, and that would be true. Sorting out your relationships loudly in a confined space is not the best thing to do. But remember, ticking the checkbox “only for friends” may not save your personal information from being reposted, discussed and judged.