Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Curtains Are Open

Have ya'll ever thought about privacy? We expect a certain degree of separation from society in our own homes, but when it comes to the internet, is any part of us private?

[A thoughtful post] explores the separation of public life from private life, of one's reality from internet existence. Included in the post is the documentary,We Live In Public, which also focus on this issue of privacy in the Internet Age.

For me, a self-confessed nerd and only recently rehabilitated gamer (I was a Warcrack addict for nearly 3 years, and more besides) the internet and I have shared a relationship that dates back to my first computer in 8th grade, when I was 13 years old. The connection is strong, and while I was reading my only thought reverberated: what is a private life?

There is no such thing in the life I've led. Whether it be the extended family that shared my roof, or the internet's powerful grip on my social-life, or even my own eccentric personality of ignorant honesty, I have never concealed myself well enough to believe my life was ever private.

True, I made efforts to blend in, or outright hide myself, especially since my childhood was less than joyful. Being a target is difficult when nobody knows you exist, and I made sure to seem as invisible as a microscopic organism. But eventually I couldn't contain myself anymore. Even though physically I was four-foot-something, my personality expanded to the point of overflowing the boundaries of my existence. I literally poured out into the world because there just wasn't enough room inside of myself to hold all of who I am.

And I'm comfortable with that now, because for some reason I can still keep some things sacred. I've learned the trick to hiding in plain sight. Most people like me because they don't really know me. Even more people like me because they've never met me at all. But the funny thing is, I'm in deep cyberspace. My digital existence can be confirmed from multiple sources, and only a few intelligent searches will bring up everything from what college I attend to my favorite movies. Even discounting this blog my life is readily accessible like a matter of public record.

Unlike many people who either love attention or hate it. I'm kind of indifferent. Sure, being noticed is nice sometimes, but most of the time it's a background I take in stride.

It's the strangest thing to think, but if I was ever disconnected from the internet, it would feel like being disconnected from the world. It would feel more lonely than I've ever felt by myself in a crowded room or staying home alone on a Saturday night.

What does that say about me? I have no idea... Maybe it's not something I can understand, or maybe it's not something I really want to understand. Either way I'll keep being transparent. I live in public with the curtains open as wide as they can be.


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