Saturday, 13 August 2011

How Social Media Gave Me More Privacy

I'm pretty frank when it comes to my online presence. I'm on several major social networking sites and participate in a great deal of social media's addictive methods of wasting my days on this planet, but while traditional media (and indeed a considerable proportion of the populace) are convinced that we have lost our privacy, I feel like I personally have gained more.

A few years ago (It might as well be centuries in internet time), back when Myspace was just about to become massive, myself and pretty much everyone I knew at the time were highly active on LiveJournal. We would pour out our innermost feelings to the world at large, close friends and custom groups. For paragraph upon paragraph we would let it all out to anyone and everyone.

It was the same on other blogging platforms at the time, but as social networking sites grew and surpassed the blogging platforms in terms of users, the art of the lengthy blog post seems to have been fading away. I'm certainly telling people less. Sure, I write here, for a massively popular horror site, a national magazine, my movie/geek site and lots more alongside my Tweets, FB statuses and so on, but I honestly believe that I am now a far more private person.

Where once I would let out a tirade against the injustices I faced at work, at home and in life in general, now I will put up a Tweet or a status about building a bookcase or eating some Ben & Jerry's (as I have today). While I do still pour my heart out on occasion, I have found that the innermost workings of my mind now remain private.

This is probably a good thing for the sanity of my friends and family, in all honesty. Seriously though, I think that in some ways we now have a great deal more privacy than a lot of people give us credit for. If you want more privacy online, then don't say so much. Say what you need to. talk about the things that you have a passion for, discuss the world at large, current affairs, celebrity hairstyles, whatever, but spare a thought for your future and hold back on telling the world absolutely everything. You may well grow to regret it.

Mind you, having said that, I kinda miss those days sometimes. Now, the stuff on my mind tends to stay there. Ah well, I'll go and post a link to a Failblog page and try to forget about it...

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