no privacy, please?

April 8, 2010

A collection of fairly recent instances have compelled me to think a lot about privacy. More specifically, lack of privacy.

When I was younger and the internet first came around, I always remember being told not to put ANY personal information on the internet beyond my first name – last initial if I was feeling particularly risky. Because of course, the second I put my last name on some children’s game website, I was going to be abducted, tortured, and never see my family again.

I’ve since learned that this is false.

But really, at this very moment, I have a Facebook, a blog, a Formspring, a Twitter, a YouTube account, and I’m a member of plenty of other websites and boards and such, but still, I have yet to be stolen by anyone.

I can think of plenty of people who I have never spoken to or who I hardly know who will be reading this. Maybe some of my teachers will read this. Maybe some of my relatives. Maybe some of my friends. Maybe some of my friends’ relatives. Regardless, I don’t feel like I’m losing any sense of privacy.

And, I don’t put anything out there without considering the fact that somebody besides myself is going to see it. I would never blog about how I burnt down an animal shelter. I mean, never mind.

It’s just so much easier to express yourself, be open, and to be truly open to that lack of a sense of privacy when there’s a screen between you and your audience than it is when you’re on a stage, in a school, giving a speech, or doing anything else that gives the masses a glimpse into your thoughts and feelings.

Strangely, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. I think it’s kind of cool. I think it’s kind of beautiful. Being able to show the way I think, what I think is funny, what makes me smile, what makes me cry, with a group of people about which I know absolutely nothing with certainty is a pretty freeing feeling.

It’s not because I assume that I’m so important that everyone in the world is interested in everything I do or think. But it’s nice to know there are people who might be getting to know me a little more – for better or for worse – without me having any clue at all.

And so,  as appreciative as I am to my friends who read this, and tell me they read this, I’d mostly like to thank all of the creepers, who know a random collection of details about my life, and who I might not even know. Let me know who you are. Or maybe, on second thought, don’t.

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