Privacy Is Dead, Deal With It

On October 31, 2011, in Facebook, Privacy, Social Media, by Abbas Alidina

The evolution of the social consumer over the past few years provides us with a reference point on how fast and how much we have all changed. Social media has fundamentally shifted the line between what is public and what is private.

Privacy is dead, deal with it.
– Scott McNealy, CEO Sun Microsystems

The Theory of Digital Selection

We live in an era of Digital Darwinism. As new technologies hit the mainstream, our behaviours, attitudes and habits adapt effortlessly. The gadgets, apps and networks that make our lives easier and more interesting survive.

Digital Darwinism

There was a time when we were skeptical about mobile phones interrupting our personal space and invading our privacy. Now, it is assumed that anyone you meet has a mobile phone. How could we live without them?

Call display and mobile internet follow the same story as above. They were initially seen as invasions of privacy. But now, how could we live without them?

A New “Normal”

Many people have vowed to never step inside of Facebook, but now there are 800 Million users globally. Sometimes, I meet people online before I meet them in real life. This phenomena would have been hard to believe 5 years ago, and now my business depends on it.

Our notion of what is public and what is private has fundamentally changed. We have reach a new “normal”.

Your Digital Persona

Every time we post content on the social web, we share a little bit of our personalities and what we aspire to be. Our sharing habits paint a picture not only of our personas in the real world, but also of a new digital persona that we are now responsible to manage. I find it interesting when our digital personas start to impact the way we behave and the experiences we encounter in the real world.

The Unwritten Rules of Social Etiquette

A recent study performed by MTV that examined the behaviour of the younger generation found that social media is not just a communication channel or medium, it is actually ingrained into their culture.

Extraordinarily nuanced codes and informal rules of behavior are emerging in social media. Overshare and you’re hidden in the feed (de-friending being so overly confrontational and all). Respond too fast and too frequently and you’re overeager and deeply uncool. In our “Millennials, Decoded” study, half of smartphone-toting millennials said they were “very concerned” that if they responded too quickly, they’d “look like they had nothing better to do.”
- Nick Shore, MTV

It has become normal to share with the entire world what you’re doing, thinking, eating, drinking or buying.

Privacy

However, there’s a thin line between sharing and oversharing. We’ve all unfriended the annoying oversharers to improve the signal-to-noise ratio in our social networks. It happens every day on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn et al. It’s all relative after all.

The Pendulum Has Shifted

Information that we would have guarded with our lives a few years ago is now shared effortlessly with the entire world in seconds. The proverbial pendulum has swung between what we consider public and private. It’s time to embrace the new “normal”.

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