Last week in class, we had a panel discussion on privacy and openness online. We spend a lot of time talking about your digital footprint and how nobody reads the terms of service, and just click accept. One of the more interesting debates that came from our discussion was about authenticity. Are you more authentic online or in person? I really enjoyed this debate. Personally, I much prefer to have interactions face to face, on the phone, or on Skype. To me, that’s just more personal and you can hear or see other peoples’ reactions and emotions versus trying to read a person’s “texting voice”. For example, I can never tell if I am texting my parents something and the respond with numerous “… ” placed throughout their text if they are upset, unsure, just busy or what.
I know I am more cautious of what I make available online, but I do not put up a fake personality. But because I am more cautious of what actually is online, I guess I am not as open online as in person, which is why I prefer actual interactions. However, I do have accounts on things like Facebook and check it from time to time and bring up in conversations things that were posted. Society has almost come to the point that our non-online lives are crossing over into our online personalities and lives and continue to overlap more and more. So to put a fake personality or an ‘edited’ version of you online, I feel like one way or another, it wouldn’t last long. I don’t like having to worry about misreading something if I can hear or see someone’s face, normally. But if you were to lie about something online, what’s the difference lying to my face, or vice versa?
It just makes me wonder if people are ever fully open online. And if privacy or openness trumps the other? As far as I can tell, I guess it just depends on the person.