When Facebook launched a feature that could tell you when your friends “liked” an article on the New York Times website, I thought it was a tad creepy, but on the whole: pretty cool. After all, I don’t go around “liking” stuff that I would want to keep private; that’s kind of the point of “sharing.” Besides, it’s not really me and my like-happy friends that the New York Times is connecting – to them, we’re just two anonymous Internet users.
That is to say, if I’m not doing anything particularly controversial, and if my online activity is a itty bitty fraction of the billions upon billions of info packets being exchanged every day, what’s the big deal?
I don’t have anything to hide – just a bunch of innocuous preferences of my life as a consumer. But isn’t that depressing in a way? That our lives are boiled down to where we happen to be and what we happen to like?
Are the privacy advocates right? Are we slowly-but-surely giving up our god-given right to privacy? Is social media just one big water slide? Can Facebook, or any body else, really keep this stuff a secret? It seems like Facebook is in the news every day for new privacy-related issues or instances of real life drama caused by something that happened on the ‘book. I like to think that this is separate from me, that I’m not over-sharing on the social network, they’re talking about the other guy! But am I just turning a blind eye?