Is privacy too much to ask for?

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I like having control of my privacy. I like it a lot.

I don’t mind sharing about myself as I get to know people. I don’t mind opening up to people in an organic way. I share, the other person shares, and a personal or professional relationship develops. I’m not secretive at all when I’m having a face-to-face interaction with someone, even if that person is new in my life. That said, I absolutely hate the idea of someone I have just met going online and searching for my name. Do you want to know something about me? Ask me. I won’t mind. I enjoy a good conversation. But asking Google? That thought creeps me out, probably way more than is rational. I want to be known in a human context and not a digital context.

I am at a new job, and have had a number of co-workers become my “friends” on Facebook. I have mixed feelings about that. Do I want to build friendships? Absolutely! I enjoy their company, and we are in the process of building real relationships; at the same time, I find it a bit odd and more than a bit uncomfortable to give instant access to all the photos from my past few vacations to every person I meet. I find it equally strange to be able to see so much about what they were doing a month or a year before I met them— or even what they are having for dinner tonight! In some bizarre way, I think I might treasure things more if I hold them a bit closer to myself instead of having them be public.

I also strongly value being able to change my opinions. What I think personally, and professionally, is different today than it was a few years ago. I hope that my views continue to evolve in the future. That is one major reason for why I don’t have a personal blog. To speak truthfully, I’m still not really embracing having this blog either. What seemed like a good idea for my final project for Course 1 already seems inadequate to me now. Sure, I’m in these courses to grow professionally, so not everything needs to be perfect now. I know that, and I would hope that others who look at this blog know that too. But the part of me that values privacy also thinks that I grow better when I can wrestle with ideas alone, and not have to worry about who will read my thoughts.

2 thoughts on “Is privacy too much to ask for?

  1. Ryan Sager

    Your last paragraph explains exactly how I feel. One of the biggest problems with the internet is that I saves everything. My life isn’t static. I also want the chance to change my ideas. I read and learn to improve myself. If my ideas haven’t changed over the last month, then I would consider that failure. One option is to go back and edit all my posts to reflect my current views and opinions, but who could possibly do that? I feel that my ideas are changing as rapidly as the technology changes!

    I hope that when a prospective employer Googles me that they weigh less of what I say and more the fact that I’m engaged in the global conversation of technology in education.

    1. Flor Cobarrubias Martin

      I see your point Hannah. I am a very reserved person, and I don’t have hundreds of Facebook friends as some people do. Actually, a friend made fun of me once. She did not see the point of having a Facebook account if I only have a few friends. I like it that way though, and I take pride of the fact that, with a couple of exceptions, I have known my Facebook friends for a reasonable amount of time. I have not gotten to the point where I befriend friends of friends, or all the people I meet at conferences and social events. Although I am concerned about my online privacy, the benefits of free and fast communication outweigh possible negative effects. After all, I have control over what I post, if an acquaintance or potential employer peeks at my “past”, they will not find anything “juicy”. Blogging is a different story though. It may not include posed and candid shots of my family, yet it makes me feel more vulnerable. Like you and Ryan, I do not want to be judged by what I thought at the moment of posting a comment.


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