Friday, January 15, 2010

"It is the paradox of the cyber era: A nation of exhibitionists demanding privacy."

A revealing article on the non-private thoughts of Michael Gerson:
The most interesting aspect of cyber culture, however, is not the quest for privacy but its disregard -- not the desire to protect private communication but the compulsion to make bra colors public.

The Internet is known for its milestones of exhibitionism. In 1996, Jennifer Ringley began broadcasting her entire life -- from brushing her teeth to making love -- on the Internet. In 1998, Elizabeth Ann Oliver delivered her baby live on the Web. In 2001, Josh Harris presented his breakup with his girlfriend and his nervous breakdown for Internet consumption.

But the real revolution of the Internet has been to make personal disclosure routine. Some, via Twitter, Facebook and the like, have taken to afflict others with a constant stream of their random thoughts -- an avocation that a columnist has no business to criticize. Less understandable to me are the revelations once reserved for the most
intimate friends.

If nothing else, we need wisdom in discerning what to keep hidden and what to reveal.

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