Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Who's watching who? Social Networking.

In response to a posting in the The "EdTech" Blog on "A Privacy Paradox: Social Networking in the US".

Privacy and the protection of it, have been problems longer than the "digital age" has been around. Joseph's brothers, stole his coat of many colors and dipped it in sheep's blood to convince their father, Jacob, that Joseph had been killed by wild animals. Joseph was sold into slavery. His identity had been stolen by his own brothers. Now, mini-cams hover above the cities where once hawks lived in trees. The Cams are able to see great detail and though the managers of such services swear that they will not be misused....it's highly likely that they will be. Satelite technology is available that allows Google Earth to show you how many cars are parked in my drive way. GPS technology can track me around town via my cell phone. We are but a step away from imprenating humans with small electronic capsules that will be placed under the skin that will contain not only our identifying data, but perhaps our medical and credit records, along with school records, driving records and what have you.

I am always struck by the idea, that with all this digitized information, that half of us, will be sitting around seeing what the other half is up to. That leaves the other half to sit around and see what we are up to.

I cannot and will not deny that protection of identity via social networking applications is of great importance and deserves to be attended to, I am not quite as sure as the problem is as grave as some folks would like to make it out to be. In my youth, I took great delight in meeting new folks. It was a way of testing my "adulthood"...seeing how someone else matched up to me, learning new things, and of course, taking risks all along. Somehow, I have made it this far, and am none the worse for it. It is probably far better to teach kids how to respond to innappropriate and dangerous behaviors than to outright ban the social networking applications that seem so strife with such things.

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