Monday, May 24, 2010

Shut Up and Give Facebook a Break: Why Privacy Doesn't Matter Anymore

I remember when I first used the internet. I was probably fourteen or so, and my mom stood over my shoulder, anxiously monitoring my every click. The number one rule of the internet back then? Never, ever give anyone your full name. In fact, try not to mention your first name. I remember vividly my parents' graphic description of what would happen if anyone found out my full name- namely, that they would hunt me down and rape and pillage our entire community.

In this day and age, that's just ridiculous. For one thing, I've googled my name and there are approximately eight gazillion people with the same name out there. For another, nobody would be able to find me on social networking sites if I only gave part of my name, or a fake name. And yes, there are freaks out there on the web- but there are more than enough people making themselves huge targets to prevent them from finding some reason to hunt me down. Identity theft is now much more complex than simply assuming someone's name. Our lives, on the whole, are much more transparent. We tweet about where we had lunch and we update our statuses about what class we're in. If some psycho killer was hunting us without our knowledge, we'd be dead in hours. But with very few exceptions, the truth is, nobody's stalking us. We're not being monitored. Our information, instead of being maliciously collected and used in some huge scheme against us, is actually just noise. Internet static. Really, for the most part? Nobody cares.

So what if Facebook isn't air-tight secure? It's not like I put my social security number up. I'm part of a generation that doesn't care if the world sees my info. In fact, between facebook, blog sites, youtube, etc., most of us are longing to be looked at. We can all be stars now, but not if we hide. So go ahead! View my profile information! Share it with advertisers (maybe then I'll see some ads I'd actually be INTERESTED in). Share it with the world! Maybe then somebody will notice me.

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