I pull ups my Facebook account and, in the sidebar.. an add for the last type of vitamins U bought from Biovea, a sweatshirt ad featuring my profession embossed on the sleeve (who the hell would wear that) and the coming attractions for plays at a theatre my wife and I went to last year.
Then I think about everything that is publicly accessible about me, through FB, Linked in, Researchgate, twitter.
Then I go further down this rabbit hole. This blog… I keep it pretty non-personal but it’s impossible not to share your own stories and some of your own life. And profile’s I’ve set up on various social media sites, comments I left on blogs and newspaper. And a few pictures I’ve sent… oh boy.
It makes you wonder… have we fundamentally changed our expectations and reality when it comes to our own privacy?
I suppose I have long since abandoned the expectation that any of my political views are not immediately knowable by anyone I ever meet. I’m a lefty democrat through-and-through. I’d like to think I’m a little more nuanced than that – a little on the fiscal conservative side – but I’m sure anyone who does a little googling on me before meeting me would immediately slot me into the MSNBC-watching, democrat-voting, bleeding-heart having liberal camp.
On other parts of my life – my open views on and sexuality – I would probably prefer a little more anonymity. I try to protect this, but it can be embarrassing when I’m searching amazon for a friend and they see some of my most recent purchases highlighted prominently in the sidebar ads — hey, someone must have hacked my account and ordered a vibrator and every Tristan Taormina book. It’s not that I’m embarrassed by this aspect of my life, but I do like it kept among close friends.
So I worry about… is anything really private anymore. And are some things simply none of anyone’s business… until I choose to share with them specifically. I suppose not!