We know for sure two things: oreos are the greatest cookies ever invented and we can find almost everything in the internet. This isn’t a new thing, in fact I’m opening a brand new pack of oreos right now, right here. I wish they were double stuffed oreos. Anyway, going back to the important stuff (not that oreos aren’t), almost everything is in the internet. The only thing I hadn’t found in the internet is the word “strufulufus”
Long story short, you won’t find that word in google because I made it up. Aside from this fun fact, almost nothing is out of the web. Everything we do, search, look up, shop or even hide is in the internet right now. If you’ve ever found an embarrassing picture of your junior high school years, then you know what I’m talking about. If you consider that’s the worst thing you can find about you in the internet, you are wrong.
Remember the book we all probably had reading assignments about in school? I’m not talking about you this time Poe. I’m talking about 1984, a book wrote by George Orwell in 1949 about a political dystopia in which he introduced one of the most controversial and horrifying entity ever; The Big Brother. If you haven’t read the book (or you just read the sparknotes article of it for your reading assignment, which in that case shame on you) I won’t bother spoiling it so these are the things you should now about it:
- Big Brother is a character in George Orwell’s novel
- No one nows Big Brother, but it’s presence is always there, appearing in big screens the “party” has placed in all the city
- The party was able to control every single thing through cameras and the omnipresence of this entity.
- Big Brother is watching you.
Before I become your (probably boring) Literature teacher and because I promptly lose inspiration to keep talking about one of my favorite books, I’m going straight ahead to what my point is:
Big Brother a.k.a the entire web, people around you, your teachers, the whole world and most important: YOUR MOM. #omg
Ok, maybe you have your digital life out of your mom domains (If I were you I wouldn’t be that sure), but it is an universal truth that anything and everything you’ve ever posted is there, stays there and will be there FOREVER. *Starts to analyze each and every picture, snap, screen cap, or cat meme ever sent*. More or less six months ago, I was haunt by the idea that my social networks where compared to 2007 Britney, a mess. I start to think that I haven’t arrange my social digital life. I started deleting people from Facebook based on birthday notifications, blocking people to see my embarrassing junior high school pictures and trying un unsubscribe from annoying emails from Victoria Secret, Top Shop and my personal Bank (Ok, these aren’t “social networks” but they are still annoying.). Done. People weren’t able to black mail me with a picture of me wearing an Aeropostale t-shirt anymore! (Hurray!), but pictures where still there. There was a bunch of stuff blocked from people but still available in the web. If I were famous or something (Something a.k.a. Kardashian like famous), a hacker would be able to take all of my pictures, posts and most embarrassing teenage moments away from me, but most important of all my information could be available for anyone with the right amount of persistence. With college, family, friends and all of the categories magazines warn you’re going to have problems when trying to be productive, I had no time to organize five years of inconsistencies, bad orthography, unwanted friendships and bad social networking managing. Big Brother was watching me. If I was going to be observed, I needed to be sure what the world was looking at. But as I had no time to re arranged everything, I shut them down. Yes, I started disappearing from the digital world. I thought this was a great idea, so I thought that separating oreos perfectly was an easy task but…
(Is the one from the left a bad oreo separation process or is it my OCD?)
Trying to get rid of my social networks only caused me to loose one important issue to address for any millennial, baby boomer, person, citizen or alien; the control of my digital footprint.
You know what is even worse than people looking at your 13 year old pictures? Not knowing who is looking at them and what are they doing with those pictures.
If you try to google yourself, you’ll found some awkward pictures from you happy days and some of you achievements (Look Mom! I’m on google!). But, do you actually know how those pictures arrive the google search results? Some of the pictures I’ve found on the web are already deleted from all of my social networks, but they are still there, following your trace as fingerprints in a murder scene. All of this data stays there.
You can delete it but never forget it
If that happens with some goofy pictures, what happens with your information? Thanks to some of my geek and computer engineering friends, I started to become more conscious about my digital presence and security in the internet. There’s this thing I’m still trying to fully understand called Big Data which basically is a bunch of massive data information of anything. This data is analyzed, visualized and saved in order to create statistic’s reports, business analysis, publicity and even espionage. What scares the most is that we have a lot of our lives saved in the internet in a virtual/digital/alien space which we actually don’t understand. We are being watched and analyzed. We have two options: either panic, run in circles and shutdown all of our digital interactions or be aware of the risks, secure yourself and be happy. Either option you choose, Here is a great Tedx talk that can open your eyes about your digital identity and how does it impacts you.
Main image: “The Scream” (various media 1893-1910) – Edvard Munch – Painting Location: Oslo, Norway
Gif obtained from http://giphy.com/