Privacy ≠ Anonymity

19 07 2017

We have surely surrendered our privacy to the ether by our wide-open-armed embrace of the always-connected, always-on, virtual omnipotence that is the Internet.

So what?

Someone recently remarked that “we’ve lost our anonymity because of the total breech of any semblance of privacy.”

I disagree.

Sure, our tastes, habits, and interests are available to anyone who cares to Google us (and the people who own/pay Google.)  That’s losing privacy, but I believe it actually deepens our anonymity.  We are public, but we are mass-public . No matter the volume of data collected by LarrySergeyZuckerBezos, those tech giants will never know me.  They don’t want to know me and that is the beauty of everyone having no privacy – there are just too many of us to appear as unique individuals to these massive entities. 

In the face of all this all-access age, we, as individuals, are increasingly anonymous in many ways. While a lot more people know our names and our shopping habits, fewer and fewer folks would be able to identify us face-to-face. Many would point to this as a negative change in our social fabric.

I disagree.

Technology has enabled me to be casually social with lots of peripherally interesting folks while curating my circle of true friends to a group whose company I truly enjoy, whose counsel I respect, and whose ethics reflect my own.

Thank you, Internet, for making my life an open book and loading the shelves with so many other open books that only the few truly interested in knowing who I am will bother to turn a page or two.

Dear Diary, you are now obsolete. Love, Paula