Conferences, Ethics, Privacy, Techno Geekiness


I’m sitting in the OCLC Symposium about social spaces (for a precis, go here or here) . The thing I kept coming back to is: what is happening to privacy? More specifically, who owns “me”?

There was a discussion about this on LM_NET: is it ok to resend messages from an e-list to others (let’s face it, 15,000 readers doesn’t count as “private”)? Let’s widen that: what about a blog post? The URL to a website? Ken Jennings gets asked about the MySpace people with his name. What about a Wikipedia article?

My high school philosophy teacher used to say “your right to punch me ends where my nose begins” – where’s the edge between private and public? Much of our on-line social interaction is like the old-fashioned party line, in that we presume privacy that isn’t really there.

More than that, when we are on-line we’re often multitasking. I’ll check my e-mail and Bloglines while cooking dinner. I’ll write a memo and do complete a book order. You get the picture. Where’s the mindfulness in this?

If I’m mindful of what I’m doing, if I’m careful about what I put “out there”, then some of these privacy issues will resolve themselves. I hope.

3 thoughts on “MySpace/YourSpace”

  1. Once upon a time, in my early online phase, I thought there was such thing as online privacy. I am wiser now. I assume that anything I write and send over the internet may become public knowledge. With that assumption in mind, I sometimes simply don’t say things.

  2. Yes, Sherri, but you’re an adult. My students are no where near as sophisticated and they don’t “get it” (or don’t care, which is worse).

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