Brian Solis and Privacy v. Publicy

by francine Hardaway on January 31, 2010

For some reason, Brian Solis always brings out my inner writer. This was a comment I made to a post of his, but it took on a life of it’s own. I think it’s an important addition to his thoughts on the impact of the online world on our privacy.

This is a subject on which I have plenty to say. I love the idea of “publicy” and “privacy” as choices, as Brian mentions in his post. I wish I had made that up. All my life I’ve defined which parts of myself are private and which I choose to share, while appearing to share everything. And that’s only because I choose to share different things than other people, not because I share everything. Many things I share only with my two daughters, who are also my closest friends. Some things I share only with my friends, my doctor, my accountant…
Yet even before the web, almost everybody somehow thought that I told too much, was too transparent, lived too openly. I didn’t need the internet to live a public life. The multiple husbands, the children out of wedlock (later married the father), the hippie lifestyle — all lived in Barry Goldwater Country –freaked people out. And yet, I’ve never revealed anything I’ve felt sorry about later, or anything with which I feel uncomfortable. Everything about me that’s online is intentionally online. People in my generation, after being horrified by what I “reveal,” are thrilled to read it and to have someone to talk to about things they have done and don’t readily “confess.”Since I started sharing long before ARPAnet, I don’t reveal because I want to be Internet famous. I don’t even look at numbers, and at my age, I don’t care. I reveal because I want to connect, or to help. I’ve made a shitload of mistakes in my life and had a lot of adventures, and some of them can be helpful to others. In other cases, I can learn something if I put myself out there. After all, the worst thing about life, especially about adversity (divorce, failure, illness, child problems) is feeling as if you are the only person ever to have had this experience.

I wrote a book about my foster parenting experience, and it was because I thought at the time that I had failed, and I was trying to understand why. I wrote a blog about my hip replacement because I thought I was going to die of some hospital-related mistake and I wanted there to be a record for others about what to expect. I blog every day because life is complicated, and I like to hear what other people have to say about things I’m thinking about.

Giving up my privacy? I don’t think so. While I don’t have a carefully constructed brand, I do have a presence I can stand behind and be proud of. It’s my “oeuvre,” and it’s authentic and rationally created, not just spilled. If I were a “social media guru,” that’s what I’d be teaching. Like all of life, living online involves thought. You know what old maxim about teaching a man to fish? Teach people to think, and the online privacy issues will disappear.

Posted via email from Not Really Stealthmode

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