I read an interesting article about Privacy in the era of Social Media. Check out the full text: Privacy is Not Dead, Just Evolving.
The article is straightforward. Privacy is not what it used to be – duh. It’s evolved as the technology we use on a day to day basis has evolved. I use this line all the time: social media has truly blurred the lines between what is public and what is private. Before, we may have relied on people to transfer information, now, we can see things instantly on Facebook and Twitter, from the unnecessary “I’m brushing my teeth” to “The elections in Iran are taking an interesting turn“.
So, because we have all of these windows into the lives of our friends and acquaintances (and even people we’ve never met), does that mean privacy is dead? Maybe sites like PleaseRobMe.com would say yes.
But personally, I don’t think so. Yes, we overshare and we know too much about each other’s lives. For example, I’ve said to a friend of mine many times that I’m caught up on his life because I follow his Twitter feed even though I can go weeks without seeing him. But it’s our choice to reveal all of that. We decide what we share and how much we share. As long as we have the opportunity to reveal information or keep it to ourselves, privacy can’t disappear.
That said, privacy isn’t something to take for granted. What you make public can have an impact, positive or negative, on your personal and professional lives. If you’re flagged because of something that you have connected to your online profile, remember that it was your choice to make it public and for putting it online in the first place. Yeah, yeah, maybe a friend put up a naked photo of you holding a beercan and you detagged yourself, but you’re still connected. Figure out how to untangle yourself from it – the photo can exist without you having a tie to it by name.
Like any brand, the image of yourself that you portray is entirely under your control. And so long as that’s the case, privacy, in some form of another, is here to stay. It’s now a question of how we adapt to it with all the technology that’s out there.
What do you think? Is privacy on its way out? Do you see your personal brand being tarnished by something out of your control?