Courtesy: Sprint

How much information are we going to share with the world? It seems every product or service has a way to share it on social media. Now, add voicemail to that long list. In my opinion, that’s going a bit too far.

My cell phone’s voicemail prompted me to upgrade recently, and the new feature is sharing voicemails. I couldn’t believe it. How far is this “sharing” business going to go? Can I have any privacy anymore? I’m losing control over all my information because now others are in control of it and how it’s disseminated.

Not only is voicemail sharing a bit intrusive for me, it’s almost a violation of sorts. As a journalist, I know voicemails are touchy subjects and make station lawyers cringe.  I know some journalists (not me) who have been fined by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for using voicemails in broadcast stories without permission. You also can’t use a recorded phone conversation unless you’ve received permission. These rules exist for broadcasting over the airwaves on TV, but what about broadcasting on social media?

Once again, the Internet is like the Wild Wild West. Pretty much anything goes. The regulations are so far behind what’s happening on the Internet. We have very little privacy and control of our information. You’re tracked online for advertising purposes and marketing efforts. That’s why you’ll see a shoe ad on your browser for weeks after searching for shoes. There are things you can do to prevent this tracking, and the Federal Trade Commission is trying to come up with standards for information that’s collected online but the rules are so far behind technology.

We are taking this “sharing” a bit too far. Luckily, I haven’t seen too many people sharing voicemails on social media yet. Is it a phone’s way of staying relevant since soon we probably won’t even leave voicemails or make phone calls in the future? I don’t know, but I do know I won’t be sharing voicemails and I hope one I leave for someone isn’t shared without my permission until I hear on your voicemail  “Hi this is Susy. I can’t get to the phone right now. If you leave a message, I’ll get back to you or I may just post it on social media.” BEEP! That way I can just hang up.