Thinking, Privacy & Possibility

by Brad on March 25, 2011

Some people say my thinking is ahead of its time; others say my thinking is simply strange. Although I decline to debate a “conversation to nowhere,” that same thinking is pondering the issue of internet privacy in a new way lately. I sense that, as a society, we’re proceeding headlong into a crisis over personal privacy. Not one of us is immune, and few of us are aware of the seriousness of its threat. In a society that seems hell-bent on taking away freedoms under the guise of protecting said freedoms, we probably couldn’t escape privacy concerns even by checking out to the Montana wilderness. Given that I choose not to do that (for I’m committed to changing the life-constraining thinking about which I now rail), the power I do have is to make choices that work for me, and limit the stranglehold this thinking has on my life.

We’re out of balance in life if we accept the ‘good’ that social networking and the internet offer, yet at the same time do nothing about the risk. Each of us needs to assess what that risk means to us; it’s personal. While I’m in no way a doom-sayer or fear-monger, I’ve had it with the “liberties” businesses take to use my information as a way to sell me things, as if I couldn’t choose for myself where I want to spend my money. Beyond the “selling of things,” however, their determination to use, sell or advertise my personal information puts other parts of my life at risk, too. I know I cannot both live in this society and avoid all its nonsense. So if only to make it “less easy” for them, I’m checking out of places where my information is not guarded with the same respect and reverence I’d show any human being. For starters, this includes Facebook, long known for wanting to put personal information at risk. (Yes, I’m aware I choose what to post on Facebook. Right now, posting nothing seems to have a ring to it.)

So to all my “Facebook friends,” many of whom I have not met in real life, I thank you for your connection, and invite you to find me through my website, this blog, or by email (which I filter heavily, but you pass the filter). There is great hope in the world today; each of us is a wellspring of both creativity and potential. We find that potential deep inside us, in our hearts, in our souls, in our imaginations … but not on Facebook. The life you dream of living is right here, and you need only look, but in the right direction … toward your own humanness. It takes courage to step out of the life-limiting conversation society has become. Care to join me?

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Janet Dwinells March 25, 2011 at 7:24 pm

That’s quite a challenge you offer Brad, to step out of our new social reality when we just found all our “friends” again. In the essence of truth, however, I have to agree with everything you have said, especially the part about looking toward our own humanness, for our humanity is truly what matters in all of this and it’s up to each of us to decide the lengths we will go to preserve that.

I have to admit that when facebook came out it gave me the opportunity to truly look at who I was, and admit that to the world. In may ways it was “freeing” for an introvert like me.

But as our society races along in its technological pursuits, the reality of “Big Brother” takes its toll on our freedoms. Unaware of the implications, we “share” our innermost beings with our “friends”, but the reality is that every word we post is being compiled in a database somewhere for the marketers and anyone else who is willing to pay for such information. We all need to think long and hard about this, especially about the pictures we share as once posted we have given up license to them.

We will only be free when we make very careful choices when we post to Facebook, Twitter and all the other social media sites. Because nothing is private any longer. And even though I’m not yet willing to totally join you in your quest, I thank you for bringing this issue to the attention of us all so we can make wiser choices. We all need to think beyond what we believe is possible even now and re-reading 1984 couldn’t hurt.

Barbara Leger March 25, 2011 at 10:02 pm

Your revelation, frankly, makes me a big sad.
I understand your stance and have looked into the nuances of the social networking you attribute such failings to.
Thus is life.
People take chances. Hopefully we grow from taking those chances. I choose to believe we do.

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