To Delete or Not to Delete?

It never occurs to us that what we post online sort of remains there…forever? Seems quite dramatic to say that but it is actually not. The age of the internet so to speak has enabled us to recreate ourselves or in other words represent ourselves in the way we want to be seen. When we create an online profile we create a depiction on how we want to be seen: we primp, polish, include, and exclude things about ourselves to coin the identity we want to exude. We brand ourselves in this act. We create a persona or identity so to speak and do all we can to uphold that identity but what we engage or participate in, and these things that we do are always present and will remain a part of ourselves as trace.

Now, in understanding of the internet all that we create, share, and participate online has all contributed to the building of the internet itself. The conversations, both controversial and  agreement has led to the building of communities. Now as I said before, what we post online remains forever. These brands of who we are remain.  “In theory, the right to be forgotten addresses an urgent problem in the digital age: it is very hard to escape your past on the Internet now that every photo, status update, and tweet lives forever in the cloud” (88, Rosen). Over the years people have been against this ‘ploy’ of the internet. It seems as though the only people who have this objection to the duration or longevity of a post are those who post something ridiculously embarrassing or controversial and after realize the effects it causes on either employment or their ‘identity’ so to speak.  People have brought to the table the idea that whatever is posted should have the ability to be deleted…forever.

The golden rule of the internet has and will always be, “if you do not want something seen do not post it”. A simple rule to follow, but however in this day in age everyone feels the need to generate conversation, participate online, and share, share, share! My point is that if there is a right to delete and by delete I mean to erase all trace, meaning all screenshots, shared, and bookmarks of that said image or video then there should be an understanding as to what uploading actually entails. When you post you are explicitly giving permission for people to share, ridicule, or praise. Now that post goes on to create conversation and users and composers go onto create new ideas from that said post. What we contribute to the internet has continued to create more content and stimulate the minds of others. If things had the right to be erased then all that surround them, incorporate them, justify them, and raise because of them would then too be erased. What we post has not only contributed to the branding of who we say to be but also the branding of others and the ideas of others.

As in Cohen and Kenny’s, “The Online Personal Brand” analyzes and synthesizes the ideas that inherently work together in order to create an identity. When I looked upon the social medias I had I realized that I had posted only what I wanted people to see. There were no embarrassing photos. I was polished. I represented myself in the best filter possible. The choice to share only certain things was both a constraint and affordance for me; it also created the opportunity for me to brand myself in such a way that either encourages curiosity or discourages it. The fact of the matter is that this all stems from a legal issue. Defamation of ones character as mentioned in the Carroll chapter is one of the underlining reasons as to why the issue for deletion of online publications has arisen. As we can agree certain issues arise when we post things but the question is under what guidelines or stipulations is it deletion necessary? Is it ever necessary to delete and if we ever delete what does this mean for the internet? Will the internet have less viable sources or ideas in circulation? Does the right to delete create more problems than it solves?