Students beware: live streaming via Periscope app raises serious concerns

So there you are…after capturing an awesome video, you sit – maybe adding a filter or deleting snippet. Once you feel that your video is social media ready you post it, sharing it with the World Wide Web.Now take the editorial pause away — you capture the video and it is live as you are capturing it. People are watching what you are doing in that exact moment. Are we ready for this?

This morning when I was driving to work listening to the WBEZ fm radio, I heard a National Public Radio report about the new app called Periscope. This app allows you to live stream your life. Initially, I thought that was a great concept — allowing users to connect with other users and become a part of their everyday life. But the more I thought about it, the more I started thinking…thinking about individuals who would abuse an app like this.

Let’s face it, social sharing has defined our generation for better or worse; and instantly reacting (or over-reacting) on our smart phones permeates our daily conversations. In fact, it can be argued that it’s easier to blurt out or be outrageous ‘behind the shield’ of a smart phone than talking face to face. I bet you’d agree that when it comes to embarrassment or self-regret, it wouldn’t be difficult to find someone who didn’t regret sending a text, posting a comment, or sharing a video clip.

That is why I decided to write a blog post, to remind all users of the internet (99.9 % of college students perhaps) to be aware of their social media presence. Growing up in a time where technology is prominent in everything you do, it is crucial to conduct yourself in only a way that will benefit you. By this I mean every time before you share, post, stream anything you must ask yourself:

How will this make others view me? What negative impact could this have?

‘Others’ not just your peers. Every social share has a ‘footprint’ and shared data can or will affect potential work prospects, schools, and, co-workers. Contrary to belief, what you post on the internet never goes away. If you don’t believe me think about it like this: have you ever taken a screenshot of a picture someone posted and shared it with your friends? If so, that screen shot remains on your phone and even if the person takes the picture down, you still have possession of it.  This goes way beyond your personal device… the web is literally a web of social data, far larger and ‘stickier’ than we can imagine. So, now you can see the cycle of how what you post on the internet never goes away.  For more on this subject, check out What Happens in Vegas Stays on YouTube. Author Erik Qualman tells us that “Privacy is Dead” and offers “The NEW rules for business, personal, and family reputation.”

Those who use apps like Periscope in a stupid or obscene  manner are just hurting their own future. I recommend listening to the radio report here for discussion of serious social consequences to individuals and communities when live streaming goes too far.

The bottom line is don’t be stupid. Don’t abuse apps like Periscope because in the end what you post reflects you and — in the eyes of others – can reflect anything from your maturity to your mental health. So, next time you want to share something take five seconds and ask yourself:

Does this have the potential of hurting others or myself?

As Blogger and budget aficionado, Tara K. helps students across the country enhance their knowledge about money management and everyday  life. She is constantly looking for new ideas to transform into great advice for you. Pursuing a journalism major, Tara K. has a  passion for the art of inquiry, which is conveyed through her writing.