Saturday, March 10, 2007

QotW6: You Think You Know Me

I am a very private person by nature. In truth, I never wanted to start a blog simply because I didn't want people peering into my life and judging me based on what or how well I write. However, after having started a blog, I must admit that it has been quite liberating being a little vulnerable at times, subjecting an aspect of my life to the scrutiny of the unknown public.

Jeffrey Rosen (2004) describes aptly the nature of how the Internet has vastly changed our perceptions of intimacy and trust. He states that they are "increasingly obtained not by shared experiences or fixed social status but by self-revelation." We now "trade privacy for an illusory sense of security and connection."

Similarly, we all must admit that having been born into this Internet era, the words of Jeffrey Rosen ring true to us. "People are more concerned with the feeling of connection than with the personal and social costs of exposure." (Rosen, 2004). And blogging, in my opinion, is the best example of how we have done exactly that.

When it comes to how or what I blog about, I choose to write about information that I am comfortable to share with others - what kind of music I like and snippets of my character. There must be self-control and a lot of thought put into self-exposure over the Internet because once it's out there, there's no turning back.

What's scary is the fact that blogging in most cases, do not reveal who a person really is. There is always the issue of personal branding (McNally & Speak, 2002). They define a personal brand as a "perception or emotion, maintained by somebody other than you, that describes the total experience of having a relationship with you." What this means is that you can choose what you want to expose to others, giving them a certain impression of you that stands out, and in most cases, does not reflect who you really are.

I myself am guilty of personal branding. Most people who blog are. However, I feel that it also helps to maintain one's privacy, albeit having to "deceive" others to a certain extent. I expose a certain trait that I don't mind others knowing about me, and I leave it as that. For example, through my videos on my blog, people know that I love to play the guitar. Other personal information are not revealed, and my privacy is maintained.

In this modern day and age, although self-exposure seems to be the crucial factor in gaining trust over the Internet, privacy is still very much important. In the area of internet banking for example, there is a radical reversal of perceptions, and people place all their trust in one that claims to ensure their privacy and security instead (Privacy and Security, 2006). In my opinion, a healthy dose of self-exposure and privacy is important for the Internet to continue flourishing. One cannot simply subscribe to one without the other.


McNally, D., & Speak, K. D. (2002) Be Your Own Brand: A Breakthrough Formula for Standing Out from the Crowd. Retrieved March 10, 2007 from

Privacy and Security (2006). Retrieved March 10, 2007 from

Rosen, J. (2004, July 19). The Naked Crowd. Retrieved March 10, 2007 from

1 comment:

Kevin said...

We all maintain an online persona to reflect the best of ourselves, very much as in real-life, so there's nothing intrinsically wrong there. :)

Full grades.