Monday, March 5, 2012

The Watchers vs the Watched

Dear Boyd,

Your article brings up a good point about privacy and shows the dichotomy of the watchers and the watched. Take Facebook for example. People are always finding ways to make their Facebook page more "private" in the sense that they want to decrease the amount of people seeing certain things. In this case, the watchers have the power to control privacy because fear of what they may or may not find is leading to increased scrutiny. They're the ones who are going to find those deleted posts, pictures, and comments that you don't want being seen, and even if the privacy settings are beefed up, there are still ways to get around that. Its the modern adage of "what happens in cyberspace, stays in cyberspace...forever."

However, the ultimate form of privacy is simply not posting what you don't want being seen. You make a good comparison between what happens in real life and what happens online, where in real life, people are less likely to say what they truly feel because there is no barrier of anonymity protecting them. Even though Facebook shows a public profile of you, the barrier of the computer screen and cyberspace make people feel as if they can say what they want. However, if you simply follow the idea that you shouldn't always post what immediately comes to your mind (think before you talk, for you real-lifers out there), then you hold the power of security as the watched. You become the ultimate authority on what gets seen, because simply put, if you don't post it, it wont be seen.

I liked how your article addressed these issues online and showed that there is a difference between the watchers and the watched in more than just the sense that one watches the other, and I thought that overall it was an interesting read.

                                                                       Kevin Lanza

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