I keep hearing and reading how the Internet has changed everything. First we learned how it was the end of privacy and no less a man than the head of Facebook (who might have some self-interest involved) noted that the age of privacy was over earlier this year. Of course that’s in Facebook’s best interests to make you believe privacy is “over.” Zuckerberg claimed, without a shred of scientific evidence or data, that lack of privacy is now a societal norm. (Apparently when nobody was looking, Zuckerberg got his Ph.D. and did some sociological or epidemiological research.) Nothing could be further from the truth — privacy is very much a societal norm. It’s also a personal and private decision most of us make on a daily basis. For example:
- How much do I tell my significant other about what happened at work today?
- That’s a cute photo, should I share it with others?
- Should I tweet about what I just that person do in the coffee shop?
- I just got a raise — is it something I should put on my status update?
- Should I tell the clerk about what happened to me this morning?
We make privacy decisions every day, but most of us give little thought to them because we expect little will become of our personal, daily sharing. But when you open that sharing up to the infinite Internet, it can become another thing entirely.
So it was with some trepidation that I read The Web Means the End of Forgetting in the New York Times Magazine recently. But I was pleasantly surprised.
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