On Privacy, Sharing on the Internet and Social Media

Last week, I shared my personal story and thoughts on being a public figure online. This week, I want to turn my attention to social media in general. The social media debate is one that I usually find interesting, for a variety of reasons. One of them relates to the notion of our express wish to share.

Falsely, we often make the assumption that people want to share everything. When someone tells me this, I look at my Facebook feed. The people who are sharing things are those we would call influencers. Us who, in one way or the other, have chosen to be public figures and be spokespeople of topics. Us who people turn to for information.

See, just like most people before the internet didn’t all dream of becoming public figures—just the same holds true today. As always, the internet is yet just another technical catalyst (like the book once was) that has the benefit of allowing things to progress infinitely faster.

That being said, the internet lowers the barriers of entry considerably and opens the door for publicness. We could argue the effects this for a long time—whether this is good or bad. As long as you are aware of these effects, they are to me only abundant possibilities with easily manageable risks.

Speaking of the risks, it means that we as fellow human beings need to respect that we don’t all want to be public figures and thus respect the attempts of privacy that we do try, even online (where you really shouldn’t expect privacy). Because in the end, what is privacy if not a mutual agreement between parties? Internet or no internet, privacy is no different and something we create together.