Sunday, March 4, 2012

Privacy Complications

To Danah Boyd,

     The issue of privacy in the online world, and especially Facebook, is always complicated and full of different factors that can affect an individual's life. The many examples that were mentioned in your article, "Dear Voyeur, meet Flâneur… Sincerely, Social Media", provide a good basis for understanding how different privacy issues play a role in our everyday lives. Whether it has to do with balancing of power in online relationships, or just simply carefully watching what you post to the world, privacy is almost always an influential factor of online identities.
     One great example of the effects of privacy that you included in your article was the two case studies involving Facebook content. The first case was a very typical occurrence wherein a teenage girl was posting a status related to her recent relationship problems. The girl wanted to post song lyrics that directly related to her depressive state of mind, but feared her mother would take it the wrong way and think something was seriously wrong. Instead, she thought of a song that could relay the message she was trying to portray to only her friends, without her mother understanding the issue at hand. This situation was described well in saying, "people are also quite creative in finding ways to manage being watched so as to achieve privacy".
     Privacy issues among internet users are becoming more common everyday. Everyone claims to want their privacy but then turn around and allow just about any website access to their personal information at the drop of a dime. The concept of "being watched" is another interesting aspect of Facebook. Individuals will go out of their way to share their entire personal lives with their friends, but at the same time require privacy from everyone else that they don't deem worthy of knowing. Privacy is a very tricky subject to begin with, so incorporating the endless possibilities of the internet only makes things immeasurably more complicated.

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