Thursday, September 21, 2006

The Changing nature of Privacy

New Scientist is asking questions about living online.

It accepts, without question, that there is a life that is completely mediated by being online and it ascribes this life to most young people.

Summer 2006 finds the world enmeshed in multiple wars and genocidal campaigns. It finds the world incapable of calling a halt to environmental destruction. Yet, with all of this, people seem above all to be fascinated by novel technologies. On college campuses there is less interest in asking questions about the state of the world than in refining one's presence on Facebook or MySpace. Technology pundits may talk in glowing terms about new forms of social life, but the jury is out on whether virtual self-expression will translate into collective action.

It also gives a clue as to what kind of lifestyle is expected of theis generation.
The self that grows up with multitasking and rapid response measures success by calls made, emails answered, messages responded to. In this buzz of activity, there may be losses that we are not ready to sustain. We insist that our world is increasingly complex, yet we have created a communications culture that has decreased the time available for us to sit and think, uninterrupted. Teens growing up with always-on communication are primed to receive a quick message to which they are expected to give a rapid response. They may never know another way. Their experience raises a question for us all: are we leaving enough time to take one's time?
Much of what NS says has been known for some time and we even saw it coming a decade ago. The big thing we did not anticipate was the level of multi-tasking.