“Can you send me that picture?” It’s something we’re asked after coming home from a family trip or a vacation at Disney World. As social creatures, we are always sharing photos via the internet of us having really awesome adventures. However, most of the time, we are not alone in those pictures. We take photos with our friends, family, and some old person that just wandered into the background. It wouldn’t be a problem if we just kept the photos for ourselves and occasionally showed them to visiting friends and family. But in today’s digital age, our photographed memories are plastered all over social media for the entire world to see. I might sound really dramatic, but why is that a problem?

I’ll tell you. Maybe someone doesn’t want their photo on the internet, exposing them to be judged by some strangers on the internet who can then pass it on to their friends, and their friends, and on, and on, and on. And what about when those photos are used for advertisements or other forms of promotions. Some people might not really be comfortable with having their face used to sell the latest fancy product, especially if they weren’t asked for permission.

I have a professor who asks that their lectures not be recorded, out of fear that they will be taken out of context, and end up on Fox News. That’s a big problem, especially if people have to fear that their actions, that in context might be innocent, will be placed before a public audience to scrutinize. With all of this digital technology making it harder to live private lives (Google Glass, for one example) we should remember to be decent humans and give our fellow people the respect and privacy that they deserve.