As January 2010 slowly slips away I’m struck by thwo things I’ve read today, actually 3. Lets back up a week to add some context to what I’m about to say. On January 8th Mark Zuckerberg the founder and CEO of Facebook made the following comment:
If he were to create Facebook again today, user information would by default be public, not private…
Here is the full blown article as found on ReadWriteWeb: Facebook’s Zuckerberg Says The Age of Privacy is Over
Following that admission, Shel Israel and I had an exchange on Twitter that started with this from Shell…
At which point I said:
@shelisrael Agree. I know I’m pigeonholing here but millenials have a different notion of what privacy is or should be..
To which Shell responded”
@Marc_Meyer I don’t know if you’ve asked Millenials how they feel about privacy. I think you should ask them b4 making a blanket statement.
Would you see it the same, if FB also started posting street addresses? phone #s? SSN? How about photos of kids? Does he decide? 10:38 AM Jan
It would depress me greatly to think an entire generation had lost a sense of privacy. That would be Orwellian.
My point in all of this? Mark Zuckerberg comes from a different place, he operates in a different space. Millenials treat privacy differently and so does he. I’m not making a blanket statement as much as I’m referring to Zuckerberg, who is a millenial, and who has created a completely different notion of what privacy is and should be. Relationships and privacy mean different things to Zuckerberg.
Now lets take danah boyd who says:
Publicity has value and, more importantly, folks are very conscious about when something is private and want it to remain so. When the default is private, you have to think about making something public. When the default is public, you become very aware of privacy. And thus, I would suspect, people are more conscious of privacy now than ever. Because not everyone wants to share everything to everyone else all the time.”
Yes, but here is why I titled this post the relationship viewed as transactional. As danah has so accurately stated, publicity has value. As a society we have always been attracted by and to celebrity, be it as tragedy, comedy or otherwise. Our society devours celebrities as three squares a day. Because of this, and because of the social web, that potential for celebrity exists at every turn. But it comes at a cost in 2 forms. One form is what we hope to gain from that transaction and the other comes in the form of what we give up or are willing to part with. Look at it as a deal with the devil if you will.
We like our privacy but we love our 15 minutes of fame. In fact we love it so much that Josh Harris, of internet shooting star fame stated:
Andy Warhol said that, in the future, everyone will be famous for 15 minutes,” Harris told me. “But I think he misunderstood what was happening. I think what people are demanding is 15 minutes of fame every day. And mark my words, they will get it. That’s where we’re heading, whether we like it or not.”
Relationships as transactions. We might not admit it, but what the social web has created is an unstated platform for every social interaction to have the potential to catapult one at best, into a cult of personality. In fact I would venture that though most might not admit, but part of their social strategy is to be “found” or to create a connection that results in…yep you guessed it, some type of transaction..Disingenuous? It depends on who you ask.
The upside/ 15 minutes of fame. The downside you may lose control of your privacy.
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