Don’t Look! This is Private!

April 24th, 2006 by Alex

I don’t often turn to the comics page for my philosophy, but in Blondie’s case I’m always willing to make an exception. I just happened to catch today’s strip, which goes back to the question I asked Friday:

Do we owe it to kids like this not to publish the things they’ve made so public because they may not have fully thought through the consequences?

In this particular Blondie strip, Dagwood asks his daughter what she’s doing on the computer. “Blogging my personal life on-line,” she replies, then quickly covers the screen, saying, “Daddy! Please! Don’t look! This is private!!”

It’s a good joke, but it’s also got quite a bit of insight about those of us in the Internet storytelling generation: we willingly post everything about our lives to the most public of media, then expect that certain people will just not look.

At this point, I think it takes personal experience to truly comprehend the insane duality that is this public/private expectation; I wonder if there’ll come a point at which the public at large will wake up to it, and what the effect on this kind of online journal-keeping will be.

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