Random theory on a quiet and rainy Saturday afternoon in the city.
Privacy exists only in the eye of the beholder and is more prevalent and easier to engineer than ever before. It’s all a question of audience. I’ll explain. The new standard in our ways of communicating (especially in the geekdom) is to publicly display, reveal and share all the time, whether its our location, our trips, our photos, our thoughts, our desires, our interests and what we go through and who we know. If we simply stop using these services, nothing in our actual behaviour changes, we still go places, we still take pictures, we still share them with who we wish to by “downgrading” to sending them directly to people, family etc but our public self-actualisation is decreased and our privacy increases. I find it intriguing that privacy isn’t explicitly part of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs actually, perhaps its a given, perhaps we’re only making a fuss over it because of the past 5 years of rapid technology changes.
When everyone twitters about what they do all the time, the noise drowns out the signals doesn’t it? If you suddenly decide to stop using a staple means of communication, it’s like you don’t exist anymore. It’s far worst than if you decided to use it less. If you lost your cell phone these days and didn’t care to replace it, and went back to using your landline, you’d essentially be dead to most people. Wouldn’t be surprising if they called the police to check on you, after all who would want to do such a thing? Well maybe it’ll be the same thing if you wanted to stop using facebook. I closed my account long before it had overtaken the world in such a dramatic way. I suspect in 2 years time people will have moved on to using something else, but frankly, I’d rather observe and privatly self-actualise, write more than 140 characters, post up pictures when I really want to and generally concentrate on making my life something that is mine and not everyone else’s too. It’s hard enough as it is.
It’s a strange theory but I kindof like it, for today at least.