Privacy died when the Internet was born. Not right away, but a slow, inevitable, and meaningless death. What started as a fantastic sharing of knowledge evolved into Facebook, Test Messaging, Instant Messaging, Tweets, Instagram, and Selfies and de-evolved humanity. Everything about everyone is an open book. Hackers make a sport of seeing how far they can go to disrupt the world. Social Media now leaves nothing to the imagination. Sharing has no boundaries. Once upon a time families passed down values to their children at the dinner table, through their own actions, and through spiritual affiliations. Things weren’t perfect, but children were taught to respect specific contingencies in the world so as not to defame, disrespect, or destroy the family name. They were also taught to stay within certain boundaries so as not to defame or destroy respect from others as well as their own self-respect. Privacy was spiritual and part of the soul. One’s actions fell under various categories: good taste, integrity, virtues, honesty, core values, modesty, and respectful behavior. These categories of action seem to have totally gone out of style. People seem intent on exposing everything about themselves (and others) without restraint, and on all possible levels. Effects of this don’t seem to matter, only the action that you did it even if it hurts yourself and/or others. The more you do, the braver and more courageous you are considered. Values only a world determined to destroy itself would accommodate, endure, and permit.
Moses went to the mountain and came back with 10 Commandments to rein in the out of control behavior happening in the world. There is a bush already burning, but no one has had time to look up from their electronic devices to notice. We need to be brought back into focus, literally and figuratively. We Tweet, Instagram and Post faster than we can think. There’s something to be said for thinking before doing. Some of what can be seen is unbearable, condemnable, and not of sound mind and body. For lack of any other controls, I offer the following as a start for “The 10 Commandments of Social Media.”
- You are not to create or covet any other source as a god. There are no other gods before Me.
- Social Media should reflect the loving and keeping of one’s community.
- Social Media should not take the name of others in vain, to hurt, malign, or destroy.
- On the 7th day, we should reflect on our actions and deny any and all use of social media.
- We must honor our families, ourselves, and our communities and decide what is appropriate if we have something to say.
- We will not “murder” or assassinate others with words, photos, videos, or false statements.
- We will not adulterate our values to please or get the attention of others.
- We will not “steal” dignity and integrity from others to please ourselves.
- We will not post false information against neighbors, friends, relatives, or colleagues.
- We will not make claims that are not ours to make and rightly belong to others.
Privacy is a virtue and should be practiced with dignity. And private parts of one’s life and body should be kept just that, private.
What do you think?