Does it even matter?

I write each post under my full name – does the question of public and private even matter anymore? Is it a line I should think about only in terms of my career and family’s safety? After re-reading my last post, and thinking about it, there is very little anonymity in my blogging anyways.


2 thoughts on “Does it even matter?

  1. Hey Kel:
    So, you want more comments, eh??
    I read a great article in New York magazine about the public-private online space dilemma. The article focused on how today’s youth have totally rejected the concept of privacy as evidenced by the popularity of Facebook, etc. The writer spoke with teens who really believed that it is the “older generation” (I guess that’s us…) who are so egocentric as to believe that our perceived privacy is worth protecting. Young people seem to be much more aware of the fact that our current society invades our privacy on a daily basis, from cameras on street corners to tracing credit card & debit card spending patterns. The youth saw that what they were doing with facebook, blogs, etc was actually controlling their public persona (one quote went something like this: “Your picture’s gonna be online anyway so you better make sure its a good one”). In essence, they may be establishing more privacy by being as public as possible. The article suggested that resisting online publicity, so to speak, is really just twisted arrogance – you know, thinking that one is so important that people might actually care about your blog, website…
    What I find interesting are the sociological implications over a longer period of time, especially in the realms of psychology and memory. Essentially, we are witnessing the documentation of an entire generation’s youth. You and I can drag out our diaries, journals & yearbooks from high school and capture a glimpse of what is was like – these guys can actually re-experience their lives, through photos, film and more. What will this mean in terms of an individual’s self-concept? I am glad that there aren’t photos of me at every single party I attended as a teen. I like my blurry, inaccurate memories.
    In an age where online resumes are becoming the standard, what do you do in 5 years time when you’re being interviewed for Med School, for instance, and the interviewers have had the opportunity to read your teenage angst journals and see photos of you and your friends wasted and topless??
    The kids in the New York article didn’t seem to give a shit about the possible consequences of their online candor, which is perfectly developmentally appropriate for a teen. I just wonder if one day they might look back and ask themselves why they didn’t try to filter themselves a bit more.
    Time will tell, I guess.
    Keep blogging, Kel. I enjoy reading your posts as they often trigger good thoughts and discussions.
    talk soon,

  2. Do you have a link or title to the article you are referring to? I have a colleague who may be interested in reading it. It is interesting to think of the expectation of privacy as a form of ‘twisted arrogance’. I see it often more as an issue of safety. I am forever telling my girls not to give out personal information over the web. Not to give any identifying information that may lead to our home address, their school or any other physical locator.

    Then, we join something like facebook, which is grounded in the concept of physical/geographical locality. Identifying ourselves by our town, educational affiliations and friend networks. We are not even asking people to try and connect the dots, we are giving them a map.

    Although a little too moral panicky for my parenting tastes, I still get freaked out about the dangers that lurk – ANYWHERE – when my daughters are concerned (even when I don’t want to submit to those thoughts).

    Then the question of the web as the perpetual job resume. People have lost jobs, been suspended etc over their behavior on the net. So many (young and not-so-young) have this idea that only the people they want to see their ‘space’ online will. I wrote a paper (to be published someday)on blogging and the amount of young people who are genuinely stunned when their blogs, or webpages are discovered by their parents or teachers. Almost like they think that the web is theirs, and adults are too technologically naive to navigate their way through. Again, this is my colleagues area – hopefully she’ll come out and post. What really gets me, are the adults – professionals – who post drunken party pics of themselves and their friends. Often without permission of the others in the photograph…

    But I am now rambling…as a space of memory, the web is great – I blogged about that a while back actually – but like my parents photo album, it constructs a history of particular events and thoughts while omitting others, leaving (different) gapping holes in the story of my (perhaps intellectual) life.

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