THE ETHICS BEHIND SCREENSHOTS
Have you ever received a screenshot of a conversation your best friend might have had with her significant other, the mean girl in her class or a complete stranger? If not, she is clearly not your best friend. I'm sorry for any existential crisis caused.
Screenshots are something that has been done to us and we have been doing this to others. It's obviously off records how many relationships in a day get screwed over a simple phone feature such as this. One shot to ruin it all, really.
There are hundreds of people in my Facebook friend list who post screenshots of this and that and it's funny when it's a text from their mobile operators or from the super shop notifying how there's a Tk 1 discount on kilos of dherosh but if it's something between them and their exes or their current love affairs, say no more. I know he calls you "potato" and it's funny but do I really care? It's also a breach of privacy for the person whose message you put out in public, especially when you didn't even notify him beforehand.
Screenshots are like the 21st century gossip. It's not right but fun and, allegedly, girls participate in this more. When you screenshot something and send it to your friend and you people laugh together saying "Look what he said about you" or how he expressed his feelings about me, you are being one of those bhabis from Hindi serials. It's just that instead of having a big mouth you have fingers adept at pressing the power button and volume rockers together real quick.
I personally hate the idea of screenshotting messages to show other people unless of course it's like a fan mail (even if it's imaginary) that I had received or some meme or anything that is public information anyway. I stay away from saying really serious stuff over texts to people who are outright into screenshotting things and posting them on social media. Pro tip: If you HAVE to, try sending a recording instead.
If we are interacting with a person one-on-one, it means the message is directed towards them and sometimes ONLY them. If we were to share it with the world, we might have done it ourselves. While no one can set rules for you, you must use your better judgement to decide things for yourself. Even though something like this is well within cyber legality and actually quite harmless, it might not be ethically sound to do so. Belittle the consequences of a conversation screenshot sent to a third person today, and it can be damaging to your reputation as a trustworthy friend in the future.
If you ever send the screenshot to the same person whose message you just screenshot, know that it's karma. Good luck, mate.
Dyuty Auronee is an occasional fusspot who loves her tea and authori-tea. Reach her at [email protected]