Blogging by its very nature is a personal activity.
For little or no pay, you spend hours providing personal insight for the benefit of others, often putting this insight into perspective/content by revealing information about your own experiences. It’s a way of building a relationship with people who are investing time to actually read your blog as opposed to the thousands of other options out there.
A question, however, for every blogger is how much personal information do you disclose? How much do you reveal about your job, your family, your interests, etc. It’s a difficult balancing act between being somewhat anonymous/plain vanilla, and being someone people feel they know. Some people feel comfortable telling all while others – such as The Fake Steve Jobs until recently – try to operate under the radar. Personally, I try to operate somewhere in the middle of the spectrum by peeling back the personal onion a little bit but not too much.
That said, many of the people on Facebook appear to have no problems with complete digital transparency. They’re more than happy to offer up photos of themselves, their friends and family; info about where they are, what they’re doing, what they do for a living, their interests, likes, dislikes, etc. Facebook makes it so easy to build your profile and presence, many people jump in with no hesitation. You could make the same argument about services such as Twitter, MySpace, etc.
With all this information out there, it is difficult not to get the impression that many people don’t really care much about privacy any more or, at least, have lowered their privacy benchmarks. In the digital world, it’s okay to tell everyone about yourself because, after all, it’s not really you but a digital representation, right? It seems odd when you compare how we all try to be careful about privacy in the real world – protecting our PIN numbers, declining to answer telephone surveys, refusing to talk about how much money we make, etc.
Why is there such a disconnect between the digital and physical worlds? Do people believe they have two separate profiles now? Or has the Web lulled people into a false sense of security? Personally, people should try to take a more measured and pragmatic approach to how much they reveal online.