You Live in a Glass House.
Common knowledge, at least among the tech savvy, has dictated that we live our lives in the public eye these days. We’re advised to behave as if we’re always being live-streamed directly to the internet. Recent news about a variety of football players and some recent data breaches confirm this hypothesis.
Look Ma! I’m on TV!
Our personal lives are on display. The cameras aren’t rolling Truman Show style, but they’re ready to switch on at the drop of a…well anything, really. There’s one thing we know about internet memes: anything on this planet can be one. We don’t know what’s going to go viral. There’s a good chance it could be me doing something dumb.
There are a lot of benefits to the way the internet has opened our lives to the rest of the world. In a sense, what I do here at MC Studios is opening myself and my life to public view. As a result, I can reach readers, viewers, and listeners with my message.
It’s Happened Before
We lived for a long time in the anonymity of urbanization. We could hide away in the cities and melt into the crowd. If something happened nearby, maybe we’d get interviewed by the local news. But for the most part, we could live our lives without any concern that our klutziness might be broadcast around the world.
It wasn’t always like that. Before our massive transition to an urban nation, people mostly lived in towns. Small communities don’t allow for the kind of anonymous life that cities do. There were still secrets and some measure of privacy, but I think that was the exception, not the norm.
The internet has made our big cities small. It’s made us aware that there are people all around us. They’re watching what we do and hearing what we say. There’s a chance they’re broadcasting it to everyone else.
I Promise It’s OK
I think we’re more aware than we used to be that there is a need for privacy. I think we’re finding a balance between living lives in the public eye and creating private places in which we can relax. We have a long way to go. Smart phones have altered the way we can behave in public. Ask Jameis Winston. Or maybe not, he doesn’t seem to have figured it out.
My point is that we need to be more thoughtful in the way we live our lives than we were 20 years ago. We can’t always do or say the first thing that comes to mind. It’s not censorship, it’s learning to live again within a community. It’s understanding that it’s OK to sacrificing what’s best for us to do what’s best for the community.
How has the internet changed the way you act or speak? Do you feel trapped or empowered?