We live in interesting times, social interaction is ever increasingly moving away from the interpersonal to the internet and every other day something pops up promising to make managing our social lives that little bit easier. It has made things easier in many regards, we are able to gauge sentiment on topics of interest, can keep in touch with people we would otherwise have likely lost touch with and have access to news and information that we wouldn’t get through traditional media.
But there is a victim in all this. The more we delve into the Access All Areas of social media, the more we make ourselves available, the more we chip away at what little we have left of our privacy. People in this day and age jump up and down with every Next Big Thing that filters through our news feeds. We see this as the development of our capabilities to communicate and jump on board without giving proper forethought to the potential ramifications of what we are doing.
In fairness, we have never lived in a time where our personal information has been so accessible. There has never been, at any point in history, an age where we have had to look at issues such as these and examine the social impact of them. And this is where things get dangerous. It is more important than ever to be thinking about and discussing these issues before we wind up blindsided by our own failure to think. Our philosophers are being drowned out in a sea of endless content, the banalities of infotainment, talking lolcats and reaction videos on youtube. The reality is, there is massive potential for abuse with this much information being freely shared, whether it’s used for marketing, surveillance, stalking, or crime.
This isn’t to advocate that people stop using social media, it’s not to suggest you should delete your Facebook (well, “delete” your Facebook) or stop tweeting. It is simply putting forward that you do your due diligence before you check in with FourSquare, be aware of people being aware of you, recognise that nothing you put out there is forgotten. Information is power, and you more information you give up about yourself, the more powerful you make those that see it. Before you dismiss this dissolution of privacy as paranoid rhetoric, just consider the possible end results of this seemingly innocuous revolution. As with all other things in life: caveat emptor. Thoughts???
Alexander Theory - longer version here