As social media continues to grow in popularity, we are faced with new ethical challenges when we put ourselves online for the world to see.
It could be simply stated that participating in social networking is ultimately a test of your integrity. Is what you do and say online consistent with what you do and say in real life? If we act with integrity, our values do not change when we are online.
We’ve all maybe heard stories about individuals who have posted something online that they “shouldn’t have”. Maybe it was distasteful. Would a distasteful post from a person who was a self-proclaimed distasteful person surprise us? No. It grabs our attention when someone’s values are inconsistent from word to action.
Integrity aside, maybe part of the problem is that we have yet to really comprehend the powerful and global nature of the internet. By posting photos or thoughts on social networking sites (or the internet in general) we have put them out for public consumption. We can’t assume that photos posted on our Facebook page will only be seen by our Facebook friends.
Ever heard the old adage “Don’t do anything that you would not want on the front page of the paper”? This is a great test for our every day actions – and a great test for what we’d put online. Assume that anything you put online has the capability to land on the front page of the newspaper. Because it could.