Mylene Klass told me that Osama Bin Laden had been killed. (Twitter has changed my life.)
Time on my hands…time on the sofa! This has afforded me much time to wonder (and get myself all worked up…on occasion!). Over the last few days I have been mainly wondering about privacy and the way we conduct our public and private lives. It goes without saying that the internet is having a huge impact on how much of all our private lives are played out publicly… super injunctions, Twitter, Facebook, blogs, newspapers. It also goes without saying that I’m not a particularly private person. I made a conscious decision to put what’s happening to me ‘out there’ for all to read. But I’m also aware that I have done this in a way that suits me… my own words, presented in my own style. I choose what bits I share with you and what I leave out (believe me chemotherapy is WAY more about pooing than I’ve let on so far on here!- My choice!)
It is becoming increasingly apparent that we have less control over what remains ‘private’. However tight our security and privacy settings on facebook there seems little to control what gets ‘out there’. Even without a facebook account you could appear in group shots on nights out. I wonder how many people appear in photos on social networking sites on work nights out without even being aware of it! I know one member of staff who was shocked to hear that someone had seen her on facebook! There are still people out there without facebook accounts!
I do think that we will have to get more comfortable with knowing more about people- a few (awful) parents have recently been shocked to see pictures of teachers on a hen night. Don’t even get me started on how disappointed I am in my local newspaper for running this as a (non) story. We now know everything about everybody! I am happy to say that there have been many more comments of support for these teachers than there have been horrid ones but what does concern me is the level of cruelty and spite in these fewer comments. Some horrible and totally inaccurate names have been used- I would be incredibly hurt if I’d received similar treatment and I really feel for these girls.
I am thankful that I am now boring and middle aged… (I don’t think even my private photos would cause much uproar these days!) When I was a young, single(ish) newly qualified teacher there were not even camera phones let alone facebook- and thank GOD! There’s only hearsay and rumour left to get me into trouble!
There is the question as to whether facebook has turned us all into exhibitionists- this is something I have wondered myself- it’s the combination of being able to photograph everything and so quickly upload for the world to see. Why do we want to be so ‘seen’? I will never ever ever understand those people who stand in line for X Factor yelling about how they want to be famous- wannabee WAGs- even worse! I couldn’t think of anything worse than being famous- my main reason for this has always been- I wouldn’t want to give up my private life (one of the down sides of being famous in my opinion.) I wouldn’t want people gossiping and using horrible words to describe me in the press. I wonder if this is why this newspaper article has rung such alarm bells with me. It seems that just the fact that I am a teacher (rather than being a rich and famous celebrity) could have the same affect! So without any of the perks of fame- money, cars, a mansion…I could still be in line to be criticised by the press… just because I’m a teacher! Not a nun…a teacher (just to clarify).
Is there an up side to all of this? Could there possibly be a positive affect to foregoing a private life? Rather than being picky about what we choose to air publicly I’m wondering if in fact we will have to become more picky about what we actually do. Maybe we’ll all start being better people? If we can’t keep our dirty little secrets under wraps anymore will we start living better lives? Would we do things if we thought we were likely to get caught? Is the internet going to make us all more accountable? Or is it in fact that we’ll all get used to knowing everything about everybody and we’ll adjust to being less shockable? Most likely is a mixture of the two- we’ll maybe think twice before the affair but be less shocked when it happens!
I’ll continue to wonder away… what are you wondering?