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Monday, 29 October 2018

Is privacy dead?

The internet has created a whole new world within a world. Opportunities, friendships and connections can be formed via cyberspace. People can find love online, work online and build entire lives online. But with this new age of everything being out in the open, does this mean the end for privacy?

Take bloggers for example. People can write about whatever they want on a blog; that's the beauty of it. No editor to tell you what you can or can't include, no company to answer to. It's indie journalism. People write all kinds of things on their blogs. Some people share deeply personal information; stories about their lives, experiences, relationships, hopes and insecurities. Does that give way to a deeper sense of vulnerability?

If a person sat down one day and read every single one of my blog posts - or even fifty of them - they would probably gather a deep sense of who I was. Not just by what I say, but how I say it and how I frame my words. But would that person really know me just by reading a bunch of stuff I've posted online?

Jaclyn Glenn, an atheist vlogger I adore, is very open about her personal life and things she has been through - she had a very public relationship with another YouTuber and when things turned sour it ended up being broadcast online. Naturally this is probably one of the worst things that can happen to you, which is one of the reasons why I don't post about my relationship status on Facebook. It's got to be the worst when you have all these smiling shiny pictures of you and your SO and then things turn to shit and you're left with friends asking what the hell happened.

In an episode of Black Mirror, a woman's husband died, and scientists cloned him and gathered all of his social media information and input it into the clone. Everything he had ever liked, posted or commented on was programmed into this person, creating a new 'version' of her husband. I wonder; could someone do that with me? Take everything I have blogged, every status update I've liked and put it into a clone who looks just like me. Is that all you need to build a person now?

I guess there are many who would argue that a person is so much more than what they post on social media. Just because someone posts lots of things about their private life online, doesn't mean a total stranger can have them instantly figured out. To really get to know someone you have to feel them, smell them, listen to their laugh and physically talk to them. Right?

Maybe, maybe not. Maybe the world will become The Circle and privacy will become obsolete, with every aspect of everyone's lives being subject to scrutiny and observation. We will all become stars of our own public reality TV shows. Freaky or what?

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I'm Zarina Macha, an author, blogger, and musician from London. I write about stuff on the internet 'cos having opinions is fun -- if you want to join the games, please note your thoughts below. All thoughts welcome, even if they're mean (just no spam links please -- can't tell you what a liability those are to remove).
I've also published three YA fiction books and two poetry volumes. To check em out, copy and paste this link into your browser: