Sunday, August 10, 2014

Privacy Once Lost

. . Privacy is the most fragile possession in our lives.  Once lost, it can never be regained.  However, many people hardly realize its value.  They "life-log" their daily experiences, their thoughts, opinions, likes and dislikes, and key identification records, such as birth dates, birth locations, family, schools for the world to see and maybe abuse.
. . In the digital age nothing is forgotten: thoughts and opinions you shared in your youth with your "friends", all thousand or more of your "closest" buddies, who may have re-posted to their thousands of friends and so on.
. . Often most people find some of that early exposure very embarrassing later in life.  Before Facebook and Twitter we had the benefit of limited memory.  Now nothing is forgotten and often re-emerges to one's dismay.
. . Psychoanalyst Josh Cohen author of The Private Life , an intelligent and highly literary exploration of the changing nature of privacy in the age of Facebook says,
We need private lives because it ensures we're never fully known to others or to ourselves, provides a shelter for imaginative freedom, curiosity and self-reflection. So to defend the private self is to defend the very possibility of creative and meaningful life.
 Alex Preston in his article, The Death of Privacy, explorers psychological and cultural fallout from the end of privacy.
Google knows what you're looking for. Facebook knows what you like. Sharing is the norm, and secrecy is out. We have come to the end of privacy; our private lives, as our grandparents would have recognized them, have been winnowed away to the realm of the shameful and secret. Insidiously, through small concessions that only mounted up over time, we have signed away rights and privileges that other generations fought for, undermining the very cornerstones of our personalities. We have come to accept that the majority of our social, financial and even sexual interactions take place over the internet and that someone, somewhere, whether state, press or corporation, is watching: WikiLeaks, the phone-hacking scandal, the Snowden files, Facebook's "emotional contagion" experiment of 700,000 of its members. 
Facebook news feed is "like a sausage… Everyone eats it, even though nobody knows how it is made".

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