Is Somebody Spying on Us?: Social Media Users' Privacy Awareness

Is Somebody Spying on Us?: Social Media Users' Privacy Awareness

Şadiye Deniz
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1041-4.ch009
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One of the concepts that have a strong and dominant effect in transforming the culture, individual, and society of social media has been privacy. Everything that belongs to our domestic space in modern times, which should not be known/seen by others, is made public by ourselves in the postmodern age with new media tools. In social networks focusing on vision and surveillance, privacy is restricted, eliminated, or stretched by individuals themselves for the creation of ideal profiles. The privacy settings that a person thinks are under his control seriously affect the way he uses social media. This chapter will try to determine which subject/situation/images are perceived as intimate among university students, and how the boundaries of social media and privacy are drawn and transformed. The study is based on the assumption that the level of privacy awareness and the level of knowledge control influence the quality and frequency of social media sharing of users.
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Relevant Literature On Privacy Concept And Its Relation With Social Media

Privacy is a concept that varies from person to person and in which individuals are not to specify its borders. Rather it is determined by socio-cultural sphere as well. As a result of being a domain in which all human perceptions on privacy intersect with the notion of privacy originating from the culture of one's member society, it is viable to argue that there is a corresponding variety and subjectivity in privacy concept equal to the number of members in a community. Yüksel, while emphasizing this ambiguity, stated that “it is remarkably difficult to define privacy and set its boundaries” (Yüksel, 2003, p. 78). Actions that we hide from others, or we want others not to view but we practice in our private life people we know, issues and information can engulf our privacy circle. That being the case it seems unviable to reach a consensus on this concept. Nevertheless Şener (2013) reported that there are certain common grounds and he continued such;

What constitutes privacy? The answer to this question may differ with respect to the variables such person, gender, age, social class, member culture, social environment, social status hence it seems impossible to provide only one definition of privacy. Still there are also certain consensus points; in societies that experienced modernity human body, specific organs in body, sexuality, family, romantic relations, home and inner-home objects, many goods that we personalize and would rather hide from others or reveal to others in a controlled way may constitute the framework for privacy.

This concept is the derivative of Arabic word ‘haram’ (unlawful) and refers to “sincere, intimate, hidden from others, concealed, secret” (Göle, 1992, p. 128, Bağlı, 2011, p. 184). From all of these definitions it is viable to argue that privacy decisively emerges while contacting and communicating with the third parties and it is investigated in the transmission from private to public realms. From the moment being born, we as humans have felt no need to hide within our private realm but whenever we encounter with others, we cultivate anxiety for privacy and draw our boundaries. Claiming that privacy entails an anxiety related to encountering with others and self-presentation Irwin Altman delineates this concept as “a selective control process” (Yüksel, 2009, p. 278). Altman continues such;

Key Terms in this Chapter

WhatsApp: WhatsApp is a freeware cross – platform messaging service. It allows the sending of text messages and voice calls, as well as video calls, images and other media, documents, and user location.

New Media: New media are forms of media that are native to computers, computational and relying on computers for redistribution.

Twitter: Twitter is an online news and social networking site where people communicate in short messages called tweets. Tweeting is posting short messages for anyone who follows you on Twitter with the hope that your messages are useful and interesting to someone in your audience.

Surveillance: Surveillance is the monitoring of behavior, activities, or other changing information for the purpose of influencing, managing, directing, or protecting people.

Instagram: Instagram is a photo and video sharing social networking service.

Social media: Social media is a virtual communication environment where people come together with different purposes such as information, entertainment and socialization, communicate independently of time and space, create and display their own profile and access other users’ profiles.

Privacy: Privacy is a concept that varies from person to person and in which individuals are not to specify its borders. Rather it is determined by socio-cultural sphere as well.

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