If you’ve been an avid tweep (twitter handler), or been around the internet for long, you must have heard it being said one time or another about how the internet keeps tabs and never forgets an err. Mostly, it is mentioned with reference to picture uploads and mis-worded sentences.
In the middle of an online feud or idle jabber, or even a friendly chatter, a stranger could pull up an information about you that you thought was long buried. Worse, it could be a picture.
The fairer situations of these could be recalling your ill opinions in controversies or participation in silly disputable games.
Do our activities online tell on us?
Some people have it really bad where their online dealings in the past have had such strong hold on their present lives, that any sign of progress would be stampeded upon. If they could rewrite their online history they would, but until an advancement in technology on time travel, they’re left with living with their choices.
By what I know now, impressions leave imprints online (in the virtual world) just as it does offline (in the real world). It may be easier to escape an extended negative impact while on the virtual world where a new scandal displaces an old one as quick as a flash, unlike real life where you might come in contact with the person of discredited action and immediately, the event of the offence resurfaces.
But in both cases, the damage still dents your reputation, mildly or not, and maybe get you excommunicated with certain class of people or event.
In the virtual life though, a misguided text is like a hanging sentence; an unknown verdict you have to live with, not even knowing that you do. “I hope no one saw what I posted”.
Evolution of Web Space
One of the signs of civilization is the progression in economic, social and technological activities. Gone are the days where you send back to back texts to friends on your mobile devices, and delete the thread of conversation when your phone alerts you of insufficient memory space. Then came a solution as external memory cards to supplement the phone’s memory space. Only it was a temporary resort.
With the universal growth of all things technology, internal and external memory spaces became in gigabytes. The common phone texts are registered in single digit kilobytes when you attempt to archive (or save them), so you can imagine the glory such innovation was attached with.
Fortunately (or unfortunately), with time and advancement, the move now is to send back to back chats and social networking chats over the internet where the backups are performed over clouds. You never have to worry about internal or external space.
Now with this newest revolution of “cloud computing”, the internet is very likely never to run out of space. In this article, Will The Internet Run Out of Space, you’d read that all you have to do is save your files (from your phone or computer) on the cloud, and then you can have access to them from any corner, village, closet, road, street, house or company that you may be, as long as you have internet connection. This is another form of backup where you don’t have to rely on external hard drives or phone memory space.
Do you have control over your internet usage?
With the internet, information about you is saved “on the web” without your knowledge. And it isn’t one bit illegal. Just by your IP address alone, your location at any point in the world could be discovered. And this you cannot dodge because for you to even connect online, your service providers would need it. This article would give you a lot more information.
In case you’ve been taking this internet business casually, it has been revealed that google knows more than enough about anyone. It’s not even a secret. Google saves your search entries, controls advertising data, tracks & record your location, and a lot more you could read about in this WIRED article “Google tracks everything you do“.
And if you choose to delete all your browser history since the beginning of times and think all is well, I’m sorry but it can be recovered and then everyone can see all the sites you have ever visited (that you wanted to delete). Think about your web history. Isn’t technology brilliantly creepy? You can read it all here if you’re in doubt.
Should you get curious about the blanket of excuse they would give over this retrieval of personal internet information, it is the same with every web developer, which is to use them to “target online adverts to specific users”.
What is the Internet way forward?
With all these known, why would we then knowingly set ourselves up with incriminating evidences of our indiscretions all over the web? Sometimes it’s tough to take away personal history from virtual interactions that cause our details to be stolen gradually, but most often, we meaninglessly submit these information for no reason and get stuck in a rot down the line.
When we #sendnudes, upload certain videos or act by impulse after a heartbreak by sharing details with too much information to ease your pain, we just empower the web to gather finer records.
Sharing information about oneself over the internet isn’t anything outrageous, or posting selfies silly. Rather, if it happens that they disclose more about yourself than a person needs to know, then that’s wacky. Also when you perform illicit exercises over the web or participate in not-so proud events that reveal not-so proud moments in your life, then it has to be curbed.
There are people that have thrived from having been shameless on the internet and others have suffered for it, but that’s talk for another day.
It’s pardonable to have exchanged details and indulged in all kinds of operations over the web and social media when not having deep knowledge about the long term effects. But now we know better, we can act better!