For centuries, mankind has thrived on selective anonymity. Have a bad day? Lay low at home where nobody can find or reach you. Unfortunately, these days, being able to disappear completely from any radar is a luxury few can afford. 1 false step can make you the next GIF sensation. 1 bad interview can turn into a viral career-killer faster than you can say “cornball brother.” Just ask any celebrity, athlete or politician: the dissemination of information created by our technological growth as a society has drastically reduced our margin for error as individuals.
The overarching problems are simple:
- Our fanatical obsession with real-time digital information has turned into a lot of very, very, valuable personal data
- As secure and private as we like to convince ourself this information is, it is much more readily available than most think
Dont believe me?
- Sending 3 second dirty snapchat videos to your significant other? Maybe you should think twice about that.
- Think a couple of stored passwords do the trick for all of your social accounts? Mat Honan’s destroyed digital life begs to differ.
- Geotagging your photos so all your friends can know where you are? #MaybeNotSuchAGoodIdea.
Our reliance on technology has turned human interaction (once a face-to-face instant in time) into a trackable, methodical map of our daily relations. Facebook not only stores your chats in a huge off-site database, it also has a team dedicated to monitoring and scanning for any kind of suspicious activity. Certain employees at Google with account access could print you out a report of your digital tendencies to the minute. Working from your mobile device on an unsecured Wi-Fi network could result in all of your information being stolen. If you’re a BYOD working man in an airport, that could cause a loooot of problems.
Bottom line: we have an information problem. Yes, it is a problem. Mobile capabilities, social networks, faster processors, powerful databases and general evolution of technology has created an obsession with the “now” and turned the internet into a war zone, with the spoils (your information) going to the savviest cookie-gatherers.
So go ahead, tell me a secret. But do it in person, because chances are if you’re doing it online, I’m not the only one hearing it.