If everyone knows everything about everyone, then no one can do anything wrong. A provocative thesis from Doug Uncola Lynn at theburningplatform.com:
Graduation season. Parties, commencements, speeches and lots and lots of photos. Recently, I loaded all of the pictures onto a PC and saved them into a folder, digitally labeled and timestamped, for posterity. The next day, I noticed a message from Microsoft. It said: “Click here to see the photo album we created for you!” I clicked and saw the very same photos I had loaded just hours before. However, I never requested for my personal memories to be shared, let alone arranged into an album organized by the company whose operating system runs my computer. Evidently, somewhere a while back, a box must have been checked, or unchecked, thus surrendering my right to privacy.
Every day I receive e-mail requests from Linkedin.com, Facebook and other networking websites to follow, like, or join, with people I am actually acquainted with in the real world. The messages ask me if I “know” them as I see their photos and information along with the opportunity to electronically consummate with them, should I so choose.
Except I don’t Facebook, am not Linkedin, and wouldn’t care to Twitter to save my life. Neither do I Snap-a-gram or Insta-chat. But I do e-mail, text, blog, and surf all throughout the Ethernetic Webisphere. Furthermore, in three dimensions, I also shake hands, pat backs, punch shoulders and give hugs whenever I can. Nonetheless, in so doing, I do wonder how all these internet applications and websites find me. I assume they identify the connections to round off established social circles via my e-mail as accessed through the shared contact listings of those who know me.
One time I was having lunch out of town with a friend when he looked up to the waitress and said that he knew her parents. Because she had never seen him before, she seemed somewhat startled, shocked in fact, until he explained how he knew all about her from her parent’s various postings on Facebook. I also had a friend once tell me how the Facebook “Memories” program resent an embarrassing message and photo he had posted years ago while extremely intoxicated. Evidently, Facebook doesn’t forget.
To continue reading: A Digital Noose ‘Round Every Corner