The Mark Ledden Blog

…audio, video, web and general tech ramblings.

On Facebook, Everyone Knows You’re A Dog

Photo Credit: TheDarkThing

This is dedicated to a cartoon from 1993 where the caption read ‘On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog’. This summed up privacy with regards to that age of the Internet and helps demonstrate how times have changed when you compare it to today’s Internet.

Remember the days when you could browse the Internet in obscurity? It was a time when we all had cool aliases, we could be mysterious and we could all, in a way, be who we wanted to be. Ah, nostalgia!

We can still do all of those things but we’re also constantly being encouraged to share every last detail of who we are. The limits are constantly being pushed and at the center of this is Facebook. Every update they roll out brings outrage with regards to privacy. This doesn’t stop us using it though. Quit Facebook Day didn’t work and the network is still growing strong.

Facebook was different because it forced us to use our real names and be who we were. This trend has continued onto subsequent social sites. It’s good as this transparency and authenticity makes us feel more comfortable with those we are connecting with. Think about it, it’s harder to hide. You may as well be stood face-to-face with the person you’re poking/tagging.

This new social identity we have online, being our real one, means you can’t (easily) turn your back on it and create a new one like you used to be able to. You’re stuck with it. Common sense would make people think a little more before they share something, but this isn’t the case.  I’ve witness more that the odd occasion of people sharing more than they probably should. Either they don’t care or they’re oblivious to the reach they have and the number of eyeballs that are on them. These are the people who don’t check their privacy settings.

I guess the point is everyone on Facebook already knows you’re a dog. This is because we’re sharing more than ever. Just be aware of what you are sharing. There’s a fine balance when it comes to Social Media and privacy.

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