I’m no different than you. I have Facebook and Google+ accounts. My family shares photos on Instagram, pops up an occasional video on Vine and pins images of interest on Pinterest. It feels as natural as checking voicemail and emails today, but it is different and speaks to how we have changed as a culture.
Communication was generally more personal pre-Facebook. We may have dabbled in Instant Messenger but, for the most part, our life’s personal record was just that—personal. Today, it is public record and we made it so.
We broadcast for permanent public record our loves, events, passions, disappointments and even rages for the world to see. Candid photographs of our lives, editorials that explain us and a desire to be connected drives each of us to share more and more of our private lives with ever increasing numbers of expanding circles and groups. Want to know what anyone you have ever known is up to? Check out Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ or Instagram. It’s all there replete with live media, photographs and misspellings.
Not all of this is meant to be a criticism. Simply a descriptor. After all, you are reading this on my BLOG and may have seen the topic on a Google search, a Facebook link or a tweet. I write it to be read.
What makes the entire personal brand idea interesting to me is how much such public displays compete with what we claim to value. Personal space and privacy. We cringe when we find out that the US Government knows our phone calls and texts. We listen to music in the music hall of our heads via our iPod and headphones. We watch TV all alone in every room of the house and even spend time by ourselves on our iPads, watching movies streaming just for us from Netflix or another streaming service. We claim to want our privacy. We revel in it and yet we give it all away everyday without discrimination.
The government does not need to tap phones or record text messages. All it needs to do is friend us on a social network and it will find us as willing participants in our own social disrobing.