Monday, August 6, 2007
how are myspace/facebook infringing on our own civil liberties?
now, this is not surprising, but it's still hella creepy (excuse my lack of intellectual language, the substantive conversation paper has been leeching my brain). i just wrote an email earlier today in which i had asked an educator friend of mine how he felt about having his students on his myspace page -- as i have to think about how to edit mine before heading into schools. they will find me (as will potential employers and many other folks unbeknownst to me) i think i've already talked about this once in my blog, but it represents my burning desire to be fully ME whereever i am, and realizing how i need to tone certain parts of myself down for my students. for instance, especially this year working in a middle school, i really don't need them stumbling onto my page and finding out that i'm not straight. the question of coming out to students is kind of another ball game...
the question i wanted to ask was -- why, as someone who considers myself to be an informed cultural critic and very much a conspiracy theorist, am i participating in this so completely? i admit that part of my myspace obsession is about vanity, but part of it is also about staying connected with friends from all over the world, being able to be updated on their lives by seeing their pages as "records of life", i'll also admit that i like to use myspace as ethnography -- but as liz pointed out in a comment on an earlier blog, the internet has been archived for the past 10 years or so... how can i be supplying so much information about myself and my beliefs? i know i've been on CIA/FBI lists for years because of my activist work, but didn't realize how my blogs might also put me there. add this entry to the list.
so, just advising you (and checking myself) to think about what you put up online. especially on sites that are "personal networking sites", as one of the ulterior motives of these are really marketing ploys (come on, myspace is owned by rupert murdock, it's not a better alternative to facebook, just a different flavor of evil) to gather massive amounts of information and identify trends in pop culture to increase consumption. what are the dangers of our ignorant participation? and how can we best use these tools for their benefits without putting ourselves at risk? i will continue thinking about this.