Social-networking and micro-blogging sites have spread so wide and far that it’s tough to find someone who has not created an account on one of them.
Almost everything and anything that counts takes place in these forums — be it updating statuses, selling and promoting new ventures, posting pictures or even fighting for a social cause.
But what people don’t realise is that once posted, the information is out there for the world to see.
Many a time, one can see celebrities and high-profile people posting controversial remarks — later, unable to face the consequences, they end up deleting the entire account itself.
This has really gotten people to think twice before posting anything. Even for professionals and students, posting something irresponsible can have serious repercussions.
Prateek, a student, says that being ‘overly’ active on these sites has become risky. “Of late, many employers do their background checks via these sites — and judge the person by what he or she posts online,” he adds.
Manisha, another student, says, that she always thinks twice before posting anything. “It’s easy to just write anything on the spur of the moment. But what we don’t realise is that we may end up hurting someone’s feelings by doing so.
It’s risky when updates on political or religious sentiments are made too — there are people these days who are just waiting for a small spark like this to blow out of proportion,” she says.
But there are many who believe that the effect of comments on these social-networking sites has waned over time. Since everyone is online expressing themselves, it doesn’t really have such a strong impact anymore. Catherine, a professional, says that the whole concept of ‘arm-chair social activism’ is a farce.
“How many issues have actually been solved by sitting in front of the computer and liking a link or a picture or by reposting the same on a wall? I feel people have become lazy and take for granted the fact that nothing is going to happen. But they still do this, only to clear their conscience,” she adds.
But the same is not the case with high-profile celebrities. Any little thing tweeted or posted by them is blown out of proportion — at times, even leading to them deleting their accounts altogether.
Glen, a professional, feels that celebrities use social-networking sites to raise eyebrows and get attention. But he also believes that they don’t think of the consequences of their actions.
“I remember a friend of mine had posted a status about her boss giving her a tough time one day. She did that out of frustration, forgetting that her boss was on her Facebook list,” he laughs.
“It’s sad that it had to reach this stage. Sites like Facebook and Twitter started out being a private forum where one could voice their opinions and express themselves. But now, they are anything but that.
Hopefully, people will not go overboard with publicising their lives and behave a little more responsibly,” sums up Prateek.