Is Public the new Private?

February 3rd, 2010 by Mimi Yin

Publicy (Publi[c] + [Priva]cy)
When the public, not the private, is the default.

In a world where so much more is out in the public, will people just stop worrying about privacy completely? Maybe in another five years, people simply won’t care if their names and addresses come up when someone searches for “people who have STDs” or “people who are 40 year-old virgins.”

40 Year-Old Virgin

For some of us, that’s hard to believe.

But I wonder if even for the people who are “most public” about their lives, the end of all privacy is equally scary. After all, aren’t Twitter, MySpace and Facebook simply opportunities for all of us to craft public personas we want others to see? Which implicitly includes controlling what people don’t see.

At the end of the day, the line between public and private has to do with control. Just because we’re now all sharing volumes more than we used to, doesn’t mean that we’re any more willing to share the skeletons in our closets.


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