The Value and Dilemma of Being Private

Around the world when there is a scarcity for anything the value for it increases. Whole industries spring up surrounding this scarce resource and anonimity and privacy are slowly becoming scarce commodities in the world of Social media and Google searches. The question is will ‘being private’ be a scarce state of existence in the near future when everyone shares everything online. If that happens will ‘Being Private” be a state of tremendous value by any means?

As the world heads forward and many things that were considered personal is now online in public, often this public sharing is done voluntarily by people themselves. But many times some information, pictures, videos and other artifacts are shared involuntarily by others without even knowing that you are referenced in them. And again anything that is deliberately concealed or kept from the reach of others will have a value (not always a cash value) before being published. This would mean that there are chances that someone would forcibly try to get into the lives of even less known (publicly less important) people and make their life public.

So it would mean it is not value of privacy but the difficulty to remian private or the dilemma of the person who wishes to remain private. Would it really be that tough for someone to lead a private life in the future? Private means a lot of information and in varied degrees of privacy for different people.

I think it is fair for one to accept that remaining private (away from any online reference) would become even more tougher in the future, it is already tough to not be referenced in Google. The only choice one is left with is to not appear in public, or connect with anyone; or even be remembered by anyone, but total solitude is not a worthwhile choice for any living person.

When you accept that you cannot be private you can look at how you want to be known and this means building your online profile in a small way. Social Media is a place to make a personal presence. I have seen a lot of people who say that they have a Facebook account but they are not active. So one thing is clear, having an account in the leading social online spaces is a must even if you want to remain private and make sure that you have an online reference that people know is you.

The reversal of any damage caused by someone claiming to be you online is easier when you have an online presence that you can reference as yours. There are also chances that the more private you are the more are the chances that you will get misrepresented online. You have a responsibility to not be misrepresented so that people who relate to you now or would like to relate to you tomorrow won’t get confused by an imposter.

If you think you are not an important person, think again. This issue is more severe with people like me and you who might be an unrecongnizable name or face in a big crowd, no celebrity and in first look don’t even have a lot of fame to get tarnished. But we will be the likely targets when anonimity will be exploited and private lives compromised. If what I say sounds complex it is not my intention but it is so because it is complex enough for many of us. If we have to be in charge of our offline life tomorrow, we also have to be in charge of our online identities today.

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2 Comments

  1. Michael Williams

    I believe we only have so much control of our privacy. Once you have a presence be it on line or in the world you become the object of speculation. Starting as a newborn we are talked of and wondered about. 
    Bob Dylan expressed it this way:
      They’ll stone you when you’re trying to be so good
    They’ll stone you just like they said they wouldThey’ll stone you when you’re trying to go homeThey’ll stone you when you’re there all aloneBut I would not feel so all aloneEverybody must get stonedThey’ll stone you when you’re walking on the streetThey’ll stone you when you’re trying to keep your seatThey’ll stone you when your walking on the floorThey’ll stone you when your walking to the doorBut I would not feel so all aloneEverybody must get stonedThey’ll stone you when you’re at the breakfast tableThey’ll stone you when you are young and ableThey’ll stone you when you’re trying to make a buckThey’ll stone you and then they’ll say good luckBut I would not feel so all aloneEverybody must get stonedWell They’ll stone you and say that it’s the endThey’ll stone you and then they’ll come back againThey’ll stone you when you’re riding in your carThey’ll stone you when you’re playing you guitarYes But I would not feel so all aloneEverybody must get stonedAlrightWell They’ll stone you when you are all aloneThey’ll stone you when you are walking homeThey’ll stone you and then say they’re all braveThey’ll stone you when you’re sent down in your graveBut I would not feel so all aloneEverybody must get stoned

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