It has now been three months since dropping all social media except LinkedIn. No Facebook, Twitter, or others. I felt some apprehension, endured some ridicule, and heard some dissent from others.
How do I feel now? In a word, Indifferent.
It was not revolutionarily nor was it detrimental to my career or relationships. Everything remains static. I still call, email, and text people. I still post on LinkedIn. Am I missing Social Media drama? Am I missing amazing professional opportunities? Are there people I am no longer connected with I miss?
Maybe, but that is likely your opinion; not mine.
Is Social Media a true reflection of human interaction? Without the context of vocal tone, body language, and other nuances, text (and accompanying images) may easily be misinterpreted. The news often references Social Media reaction, embedding individual posts in its feeds, but is it telling the whole story? We are justifiably concerned with manipulation and “Fake News”, but what about “Incomplete News”. Many discussion threads rapidly escalate from reasonable, topical debate to ad hominem attacks, digressing within minutes. Maybe Social Media is less about “what” we are presenting and more about “how” it is presented, considering a potentially global audience.
Why do we filter our view of the world with metal and glass? At events, we find scores of people with a phone obstructing their view, focused on a digital replica rather than the analogue original. Why waste money attending an event, obsessing over capturing it for later viewing rather than living in the moment? Must we digitally share everything we indirectly experience? How much of our lifetime do we simply delete? Are we genuinely seeking to share these replicated experiences for the benefit of others or are we simply seeking validation from others doing the same through social media?
Does the Notifiable Data Breaches Scheme create legal opportunism? While this amendment has been a step forward in privacy protection, are there unwelcome consequences in compliance? Opportunities abound to assist and protect organisations, but what about those that were breached, assessed the compromise, and have correctly reported it? With our privacy at risk, and in addition to loss of trust, reputational damage, and the recovery costs, will businesses now face the inevitable backlash of lawsuits? With news a Sydney law firm is considering a class action against PageUp, does this set a precedent of future litigation for every reported breach?
Some understand what their “Digital Footprint” is, but how many are aware of their “Digital Shadow?” The term has existed for over a decade and consists of indirectly provided but related data. Your Digital Shadow is information about you, akin to metadata. Sources include CCTV footage, phone records, internet searches, others’ social media posts, and more. Interestingly, this Digital Shadow is much larger than you think with an untold number of known (and possibly unknown) places containing a wealth of your private and sensitive information. It is critical those possessing this data protect it; third party privacy must be considered.
You must ask four questions about responsibly managing the private data of others. First, “Do we possess personally identifiable and sensitive information about others?” Second, “If that information were compromised, can harm befall those whose information has been exposed?” Third, “What are we doing to protect that data?” Finally, “When, not if, a breach occurs, how will we react, respond, and recover?” The first may be simple to answer. The second is more difficult and subjective, but necessary. The third is very important and demands an answer, but the fourth is critical and must be addressed. What are your answers?
In the digital age, is privacy merely a concept? With the ability to universally share information, voluntarily or not, the only privacy realised might be physically behind closed doors. Consider that now, with our mobile addiction, even that gap is bridged. Strangely, the more communication technology possessed, the less “communication” occurs, but the more others know about us. Human existence becomes digitally vicarious, represented online through manufactured personas. When considering third party privacy, what others inadvertently reveal further obscures the lines of privacy and our control over it. Sharing personal information rarely divides our digital footprint, but rather multiplies it.