Monday, January 17, 2011

Play Your Cards Right

"If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place."

What an interesting quote. It’s sort of like those sayings, what came first chicken or the egg?

I don’t know if I agree or disagree.

The Internet is definitely not a private place. If you are going to put something online, there is like a default disclaimer you should be aware of - all things are public, post at your own risk. But then you wonder about banking and credit card websites and bill pay online, right? How private is that? It probably isn’t that private but those companies build up their repuations and boost up their security to prove to us they are secure through certifications and spam control and such.

Webster’s dictionary defines private as something intended for or restricted to the use of a particular person, group, or class. Secret is defined as something kept from knowledge or view. Both are intangible and both essentially mean the same thing but technically they don’t. A secret is usually between two people and privacy can be a general place or group or something in that manner.

The internet is no place for secrets. There is some privacy within security options on websites, like social networking sites, you can block certain things. However, once a picture, or a status, or whatever it may be, has been uploaded on the website, it is also roaming/streaming around the world wide web.

The timeline that was posted showed how we basically went from government watchdogs invading our homes to check for proper MORAL conduct, to a law that allows wiretapping in which government or whomever can listen in on anything and everything we are saying or doing. That is just scary, its not about morals anymore, it's about who knows what first, no matter how dirty you got to get to get the information.

The owner of Facebook, Mark Zuckerburg, for instance, everytime there is an update to facebook, the update includes privacy control and basically he wants everything and everyone to put all their information out there, no secrets. To show the world the truths that lay underneath it all. That nothing is really private, allow people to join in. I feel his concept is to make or put all people on the same level of exposure.

So, in other words, how do you feel about some of the loosening of privacy controls and more open displays of what were once considered private behaviors on the web?

I will say that I am not surprised. As our generations grow, there are more and more things that are becoming translucent. We want everything clearly spelled out for us, we don’t want complications. And with those wants comes many other consequences that we have to deal with.

I feel the loosening of the privacy controls and open displays of material once considered private is not a bad thing, because I am one of those people that do not want to be blindsided. I already know that nothing is private anymore, and I feel as long as our personal morals are straight and we are fully aware of the consequence or repercussions of our actions, I don’t see a problem with the loosening of anything. Let people do what they want, I mean, they are going to anyway.

I will leave you with a few sentences from two of our readings that I feel says a lot and goes along with how I feel with all this.

Most generalizably, youth focus on all that they have to gain when entering into public spaces while adults are thinking about all that they have to lose. Part of the challenge in this is figuring out where someone's at and what their expectations are.”

––––– Danah Boyd

“Ours is a world that is both everywhere and nowhere, but it is not where bodies live…We are creating a world where anyone, anywhere may express his or her beliefs, no matter how singular, without fear of being coerced into silence or conformity.”

–––– Davos, Switzerland

So basically, the choice is yours. You decide and define what you call and want private or to remain secret. I don't believe people join networks and post scandalous material without knowing what they are doing. it's all a game. Play your cards right. or wrong. what's your motive?


  1. Wow. Great blog post Sumaiah. I totally agree with you in the way that privacy on a social networking site or anything on the internet is some type of "game." I really liked the quotes you used and I believe it added more effect and drama to your post. It really enticed me to read the whole blog post and how you used different text and font displays such as bold and italics. I was the same way when I read this article regarding our blog post. I am not really sure if I agree with disagree. I agreed with a lot of points but then I disagreed with quite a few points they made in the article and about the quote. I think whatever you put on the internet, then you are allowing the whole rest of the social networking world to see it and you and only you are responsible for what you display on the internet.

  2. Well said, I agree with everything you mentioned except for the disclaimer! The internet is not a new invention. The elderly are naive and get taken in plenty of email scams, and can possibly be excused for their ignorance. Everyone else should be looped in the category "Assumed Repercussions!" Meaning, if you are an avid or even casual internet user it should be implied in the "common sense" portion of the brain what to post and what to leave out.

  3. I loved your post. The internet truly is a gamble. Though most of us know that the things we put on the internet is not private, things constantly change to get us to add more even if we don't want to. There will always be new generations to explore the internet, and the issue on privacy needs to be constantly taught. That brings me to what you said about privacy and credit card information online. How can we really trust that to be private when our information is sold to third party companies? I showed my 68 year old father a site called Spokeo. He shook his head since all of his information was listed on this site. Even things from his past were on here, and he's never used the internet. I had to go through the privacy controls on the site to have his information removed. This is the main reason why I don't agree with the loosening of controls. He had no idea about this information so he lacked the control over things that he didn't even enter through the web.