There’s no privacy in “social”

For the first time this week I encountered someone that started following me on Twitter  who had their account set to “private.”  While I’ve seen this in mySpace, which I also think is silly for anyone over the age of 18, I never once thought anyone would have the audacity to privatize a FREE micro-blogging and uber connector service. Call me crazy, but somehow the words “blogging” and “social networking” doesn’t lend itself to privacy. It actually kinda defeats the whole point.


I guess I’m just confused as to why you would even sign up for a Twitter account if you are shy, or have things to say that you’re sure your husband or boss shouldn’t find.  I ask these users why they don’t instead use one of the many instant messenger services and create groups or chat rooms if they need to communicate in snippets with subsets of people.  


This goes back to a question that inevitably always gets asked when I’m speaking for groups and conferences – what do you do about privacy concerns on the Internet. My answer is typically some version of “if you are really concerned about privacy, then stay off the internet…” Again, the very definition of the Internet was to connect people and give access to information. It was kinda the whole point.

Anyway, my take is that if you have a Twitter account, or a mySpace or a Facebook…if you use social bookmarking tools, or do commenting on blogs, etc. then do so openly.  If you want privacy, then use email. Better yet, send a letter. But be careful – someone could go through your mail.  


The bottom line is that the information superhighway was never meant to be a private country road.

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One Response to “There’s no privacy in “social””

  1. Hilary Topper Says:

    I agree with you! I’m also a fellow EO member in the NYC chapter and I’m a big blogger and microblogger! The point of social networking is to be social not anti-social! It’s a great way to learn about new people…. Thanks for the post…. Hilary

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