Caught in the Web: Privacy? Anxiety?

I uploaded a batch of photos today to Flicker.  I’ve never been a Flicker user.  I always thought it cumbersome, yet since I’ve been blogging here and using Zemanta, I get interesting photos fed to me.  Many come from Flicker.  And with them various licenses, often Creative Commons.

Then I was nagged by Patrick and Gavin to upload photos from UX camp, and really the only photo I had was of Alex, but it was a good one, so I activated the dormant Flicker account and uploaded it (Just for you guys, okay! And Alex, of course).

Then I uploaded the BioDiversiTree pics, and thought about other pics I have that I could upload, and the possibility of just storing all my photos on Flicker rather than a USB stick.  And I thought about privacy.  Did I really want to put all my photos on Flicker? I know I can have private and public settings, but still…

I gave Flicker access to my various accounts to create some contacts and I accepted everybody the app said I have a connection to either in my email address book or via Facebook.  I started to look through the list of contacts and view their photographs and saw another dimension of people I know, and experienced a visual encounter with some people I’ve never met face-to-face!  How interesting to see these people and their images.  Maybe I really should put more images on Flicker and let people see some of the life I’ve lived in other countries?   Maybe it would give people a clearer picture of who I am, and lead to better real life relationships?

I also thought about blogging and how I avoid sharing anything too personal on my blog.  If it were an anonymous blog I’d write in a much different voice and I wondered why I felt I couldn’t write in any voice I want; why I feel I have to hold something back.

During Brighton’s Digital Festival I attended a series of talks at Fabrica – Brave New World.  The first of these was presented by Antony Mayfield, author of Me and My Web Shadow.  He talked about blogging as a form of journaling or note-making.   He also talked about not holding back, yet preserving a personal boundary line.  I notice since hearing his talk I’ve relaxed a bit more with my blogging writing style, yet it’s still not 100% authentic.

Then I read this.  Cindy Gallop says we must craft our online image into a true reflection of ourselves and if we have something in our lives we don’t want our boss seeing – like getting drunk – then we need to sort that out.  Essentially what she advocates is that we present ourselves online in the same manner we present ourselves in the flesh.  That we not lie about who we are, pretend to be something we aren’t, or actually live in a way that we would be ashamed of. She says it’s just as important that brands be open and honest as it is for people.

Where do you stand with this?  Are you open as a blogger?  What is the most vulnerable post you’ve written? Do you ever get web anxiety? Or do you just let it all hang out with nary a worry? How many online accounts do you have? or do you even know?

6 thoughts on “Caught in the Web: Privacy? Anxiety?

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  1. Yeah, I put it all out there. I figure in 50 years something new will have taken over and I might not even remember who I am anyway, so what the heck? We’re all so interconnected now days, privacy doesn’t really exist anymore. I fought it when I first started blogging, but now…eh! Folks wlll either like me or they won’t, and I really don’t care either way. I wish I cared more, but I just don’t.

  2. You mean you are subscribed to 6 blogs to promote your 2 food blogs? How many accounts do you have? You have Word Press (3 blogs), Twitter, Facebook, email, Skype…
    I have 3 Soundcloud; 4 MySpace; 2 web-based email, 2 Facebook, 2 Twitter, WordPress….etc etc etc. and god knows what else.

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