5/5/14

Our (Digital) Lives . . .

I just finished reading this great article about the "death" of privacy and why assumptions about our lack of it online are sorta wrong.

Here is the key takeaway for those too busy, disinterested, or annoyed at the notion of reading a piece to turn around and read my thoughts on it anyway . . . our notion of privacy in the digital age is shifting and our sense of what and how to promote/publicize vs. what to keep private/protected is the only real variable.

I know. That makes NO sense. I'll step back a little bit . . . I don't care AT ALL what people can find about me in the public realm. I had someone - sorta recently - look in to my background. They "found out" the following about me . . . I was recently accused of owning four homes (I technically own one (for a few more days anyway) and I live in another that I rent but there are no third or fourth homes in the Sean Amore real estate empire. I was also recently accused of owing $40,000 in student debt. That's down to $18,000 (thank you payments every, single month for the last 13.5 years (6.5 to go)). I was also charged with ending my marriage and taking up with my ex-wife's best friend and former roommate . . . my ex-wife lived with a GUY (who introduced us to each other) and I didn't take up with anyone for a long time after our marriage ends and I can confidently say I don't  know or have any interest in any of my ex-wife's friends (and they, I am sure, feel the same way about me)).

They should have, instead, checked my Twitter feed, Facebook page, Google+ account, blog, and LinkedIn profile (in their defense they DID try to use all those tools but I gather the sheer volume of crap I put out there digitally overwhelmed them) to find out what was going on in my life and who I really was.

I have NO secrets. NO shame. I'm hiding nothing. I may not BROADCAST certain parts of my life but they are all there and if you ask me, directly and in the right spirit, about anything you can't find digitally - I'll tell you what you want to know . . . probably.

In the meantime I WELCOME big brother, big data, big business, and big, beautiful women to track my every move, decision, whim, and activity. As long as they are willing to share what they know when I disappear or when stuff goes officially crazy for me . . . they are welcome to the boring, lame life my body, brain, and behaviors live.

Search/web history? Tiny homes, social media, Paleo diet, Jewish learning, searching for photos for this blog, Craigslist for tables and lawn mowers, and lots and lots of activity around penny loafers. Mobile phone? Texts? 10 or 12 total people in this world - most of the communication involving plans, (potentially) funny jokes, and penny loafers. Driving patterns? Work, home, kid's school, temple, groceries, errands, penny loafer shopping, and taking the teenaged son of a friend to random places at random hours. Checking account balance? You'd DIE laughing.

Now all that being said . . . I get (sorta) why people worry about their privacy. I know people that have lost their jobs because of social media behavior. I know people who have had their cell phone bills used against them to end or at least modify relationships. I know people that like to look for very specific porn a little too often on the family computer and they worry about getting caught.

What do all these things have in common? Poor decisions and trying to hide things to begin with. WHY BOTHER? The ship has sailed, folks. I can use any Internet connection in the world to find my phone and car (within a few inches of its actual location) in as long as it takes to refresh my browser. I can change my passwords all I want but people will still hack in to my stuff if they really, truly want to. I could lock my doors but windows are still breakable. I could use pseudonyms for my online activity but I'd still talk, look, and act the way I do now so people would figure out it was me.

I'm not perfect. I don't try to be. You're not perfect. You should stop presenting yourself to be (if you try). I'm also not worried about where I am, what I'm doing, and how I'm presenting those activities to the world. And if you were there doing that stuff with me - you should not be either.

Let's all just settle in to the reality that the digital age changes who we are and how we are living . . . and let's all use better grammar, less stupid acronyms (I had to Google "SMH" the other day and it actually made me PUNCHY to figure out what it meant), post a few fewer (?) pictures of our fantastic, terrific lies (thou doth protest too much - right?), and share less of the guts of the real stuff that really matters as a way to save something sacred, real, true, and PRIVATE for the lives we live in something other than binary code.