What always interests me about “the oldz,” when they go on and on about over sharing on the internet and how egotistical the kids are, is that not once, ever, do the olds ever see the so-obvious-it-goes-without-saying side of things that drives many (not all, but many) “kids” to do this.
I can’t recall once ever seeing a story explaining the moral and political positive side of living publicly. That is, I’ve never once seen someone try and actually write out and explain why this might be a good thing - and why many people who do it believe it to be a good thing. I’ve been meaning to do it for years, but… well, I am lazy, I guess.
The short version: living in public makes you less likely to be a hypocrite. It’s the glass houses argument turned on its head. Yes. I live in a glass house. Here I am, flaws and all. Away with this 1940’s era sentiment of shame and closets and hidden lives and hypocrisy and dark secrets. Get it all out in the open, accept everyone for who they actually are, because THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THESE THINGS ALL TEH OLDZ ARE SO ASHAMED OF THAT THEY INSIST ON KEEPING HIDDEN.
Every time this topic comes up, it’s about “nobody cares what you had for lunch.” I’d turn that around and say “Why be so ashamed to tell anyone anything about yourself?” Where is the moral high ground in thinking “no one cares about my life?” Why on earth is that some noble sentiment?
Let’s first note that this drivel is published on an agency blog (Barbarian Group). And despite the age-baiting (and nothing dresses up an argument like LOLspeak, btw) he omits the simple point in the original Business Insider column linked above, namely: any benefits to the user from a complete abandonment of privacy are minor compared to the benefits they bring to corporations — the social networks themselves and their advertisers. Marketers are trying to turn Gen Y into the most pro-corporate generation ever (compare with Gen X’ers, who disdained logos and mass brands) and to paint that as a virtue. “Get out of the new road if you can’t lend your hand,” lol.
Second: note that Webb implies, but doesn’t state, a choice. The Googles and Facebooks do not want that to be a choice, they want it imposed as a cultural standard — hence the age-baiting and mockery of “hypocrites” who want to retain privacy: Big Brother isn’t just watching you anymore, he’s shaming you! He’s calling you out! Lol. This explains Zuckerborg’s edict that privacy is no longer a “social norm.”
Just remember to consider the source. The people arguing that you should give up your privacy online have a financial stake in your so doing.