Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Behind Closed Doors

I am a pretty social person; however, I enjoy my privacy. Even the thought of this blog concerns me at times. In reading The Transparent Society, I had to put the book down in the first chapter and come back to it later. It was not that I had not heard about these practices and innovations; however, thinking about how much we put ourselves out there on a daily basis did scare me. As a person with an anthropological background, the part of the book which I was concerned with the most was the effect that the Internet is having on the social interactions as well as the possible changing of what it means to be a community.
During my break from the book I saw an episode of MTV's True life : I live Another Life on the Web. The episode was full of people who felt a freedom on the Internet that they did nothave in their daily interactions with people. Although I believe it is great to have a forum that you can express yourself, there is truth in the fact that the Internet is hindering the ability for certain people to gain social skills in which they can interact in person.

In terms of privacy, I was drawn to the statement that was made in the previous class that the idea of privacy is a class issue. The book mostly talks about people wanting their privacy from their employers and from the government, but I would agree that the idea of privacy is something that comes with a certain class privilege which I am guilty of myself. The actions that the cameras are able to catch on the street are of criminals who can not afford to have a place in which they can afford to perform illegal actions. The crime going on in the street corners of inner cities is no different than a lot of the crime that goes on on college campus minus the gun violence. On one hand you could argue that those who can not afford to have access to all of the Internet technologies are protected in a sense because the private persona we think we have on Internet communities may not be exposed. On the other hand, these people are also unable to protect themselves from being exposed by the new technology in form of their health and other issues. I think we often forget how privilege and class effect how these issues effect people. If we are afraid of the government, we should be just as afraid of the power elite whom influence the government. I think we need to take a closer look at how class effects privacy.

1 comment:

Lance Strate said...

I would draw a distinction between how class relates to literacy, which in turn encourages a sense of and desire for privacy, and how money might be used to purchase privacy in a world of otherwise total access.