By Rachel Rundengan |Staff Writer|
Long ago, in a place so impossible to imagine, lived a world without the Internet.
A world where people can go through their day without feeling the need to share what they ate for lunch and what inappropriate things they did on the weekend after taking countless shots of tequila.
This is a world where privacy—dramatic pause—isn’t considered a glittering luxury.
“Today we seem to enjoy self exposure, giving away our most intimate information and whereabouts so willingly and passionately—so voluntarily,” stated Bernard Harcourt, author of “Exposed: Desire and Disobedience in the Digital Age.”
Harcourt uses the term self-exposure, meaning the unveiling of our psychic, emotional and private lives.
Life before the invention of the Internet is completely different from the life we live today.
For instance, social media like Instagram, YouTube, Vine and Twitter, have been successfully utilized by many to gain fame and recognition.
Many users rise to fame as a result of self-exposure. Revealing to the public what they like, what their exercise regimen is, what makes their protein shake digestible, what they eat, what kind of air they breath, what they see when they blink—the tiring list of irrelevancy goes on.
As strange and insignificant these things might sound, they not only sell but sell tremendously.
But what compels us to disclose to the world what we would hesitate to express in a room full of loved ones?
“When we’re looking at the screen we’re not face-to-face with someone who can immediately respond to us—so it’s easier to let it all out— it’s almost like we’re invisible,” said Russell W. Belk, chair in marketing at York University in Toronto.
Sharing personal information on social media is akin to a psychoanalyst’s couch or a Catholic confessional booth, according to Paul Hiebert of Slate.com.
They each function as platforms to reveal oneself—one’s innermost secrets, in a cathartic approach.
However, many people “abuse” this approach as they have become enamored with self-exposure.
There’s something about getting feedback from family, friends and strangers that gives us a sense of validity and importance but is it worth sacrificing our privacy?
I understand that we are living in a time where we are basically forced into this lifestyle of constant divulgence with the Internet always asking us who we are and what we have to offer.
Although, we should be more cautious in what we reveal and share online because the moment we submit that one piece of harmless information on the Internet, we cannot, even if it meant saving a life, take it back.
As we are undergoing a culture of surveillance, we should cherish the little privacy we have before it becomes a thing we long for in the future.