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Ten years later, the online world is a very different place. For one, I don't need to take a book with me every time I log on to keep me entertained while I wait for a new page to load.
For another, despite UK journalist Martin Foley's much-publicised investigation into pedophilia on Skype, and despite MySpace's recent removal of almost 30,000 known sex offenders from its database, most people who use the internet regularly now know that the majority of people they talk to online are as normal as they are.
It has been argued that 20 years in the future, when virtually everyone has a backlog of life history available online, no one will care about compromising photos taken at university parties, or dramatic outpourings of teenage angst. Better yet, maybe employers, prospective partners and future mothers-in-law will have the savvy to differentiate between reliable information and unqualified hearsay.
It is always interesting to watch the net change and grow, but sometimes it is quite sad to see the consequences when it harms normal people who haven't done anything much different than the rest of society. Our lives are our record now, less and less toleration for mistakes too. It seems like we are just heading straight towards disaster with these sort of ideals. EVERYONE makes mistakes and these days, everyone will know. Society needs to adapt as this article suggests.
Even if we don’t all end as stars of our own personal Truman Shows, it won’t be easy to opt out of the transparent digital community that is taking shape. Social pressure to conform is powerful, and setting limits is hard. Next time a vague acquaintance asks to be your friend on Facebook, can you really say no?
New forms of social etiquette are badly needed to govern the hyper-transparent world that is emerging. So are technologies to help people gain more control over their online existence. Before being encouraged to opt in wholeheartedly, people must believe that it is still both possible and acceptable to opt out.
More of a fluff article from Financial Times about living in this age where what we do is so transparent. Has a few key points but doesn't have much depth to it.
The latest generation of websites - which attract tens of millions of users daily to share words, photos and videos about themselves and their friends - make a virtue of openness at the expense of traditional notions of privacy.
The danger of such exposure is that it could affect careers when students seek jobs in the real world or private citizens seek public office.
The information age is it has been dubbed is very young, and many of the residents of the age (especially the younger ones) have yet to realize what sort of information they are giving out about themselves. I can think of a lot of scary things that I have read about social networking sites. Arrests made from facebook pictures? Companies investing myspace profiles. What you do online IS very public for the most part. This article makes a good point and I think a lot of people need to wake up to that fact if they want much of a future down the road. That night you broke the law and took pictures makes a great story at the bar, but with the pictures on Flickr it's a different story. Maybe not today, maybe not tomarrow, but someday it could really come around and bite you in the ass.