Impressions on the Social Age

I tweeted it! I didn’t tell anyone!

Posted in Social Media, Twitter by Trace on August 26, 2010

Via: ISTOCKPHOTO

Not long ago, a friend of my finally graduated from college and got her bachelors degree (congrats!), but the thing is, while we are close friends she neglected to mention it to me. Instead, I found out via Twitter. Now, finding information via Twitter is nothing new for someone as Tweeted out as myself, however this was one of those funny times when she’d been so excited she had actually forgot to tell me!

Later in the day, I sent her an IM and she spilled the news. I congratulated her and jokingly asked why I’d read it on Twitter hours before and she said, “I just tweeted it! I didn’t tell anyone!”

That comment gave me pause right away. Is that really what she meant? Later she realized her mistake and said, not that I didn’t tell anyone, but I didn’t tell anyone.

Has our sharing become so autonomous that this girl didn’t think twice in telling her Tweeps about her recent successes, yet didn’t actually think of it as exclaiming to a public feed? Are wires crossed in our heads? Isn’t Twitter a digital equivalent of shouting in a crowded square?

According to a Scientific American from 2008, we might have something crossed. “Public sharing of private lives has led to a rethinking of our current conceptions of privacy.” We don’t really think about privacy in the way that we used to. I sat with my Grandma recently, she was asking me what I was going to do now that I’ve got my MA in Public Communication and what that meant. I went on to talk about social media, new media, and how the world of information is growing and becoming more personalized. She shuddered and said, “It all sounds so narcissistic and petty to me. I’m glad I’m not involved in any of that… What happened to people’s sense of privacy?”

Grandma’s got it right. What did happen to our sense of privacy? YouTube is America’s Funniest Home Video’s run amok, Facebook and Twitter and Foursquare (of FB Places if you prefer) all want us to share all of our information with each other constantly… It’s a barrage of personal data that we used to keep to our chests and now we’re throwing into cyberspace (yep, remember that word?) on a daily, hourly, or minutely(?) basis! It’s a little crazy if you think about it too much.

How can we not think of sharing as… well sharing? I’m not sure, maybe I’ll tweet about it and see if I can get any responses…

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