Show and Tell
My first grade teacher would gather the class and have each of us show and tell the group something we did over the weekend. We were prompted to be very open and expressive and share a piece of our experience with the class.
The generation that grew up with the Internet plays a version of show and tell through their online social networks. They unlock their diaries and broadcast their lives on blogs. They don’t think twice about uploading private photos or twittering their most recent emotional sensation.
Just a few years ago people were paranoid to have their private information exposed on the Internet, terrified that their identity would be abused. A movie called “The Net”, released in 1995, is a great artifact which represents our fears at the time. For those who don’t remember this average movie, see the below movie trailer.
In the last ten years there has been a significant behavioral shift regarding what people are willing to share with their online “friends” and what private information they are willing to expose to Internet sites. Society is redefining the social contract around online privacy. While there are many risks regarding the misuse of our identities the benefits of revealing yourself online are now too great to turn back the clocks.
We will continue to see innovation around the use of personal information to deliver better customized product offerings on the Internet. There will be room for companies that figure out more sophisticated ways to protect our privacy but the real leap will be in figuring out how to make use of shared privacy to better serve our own needs and desires.
Check out the below clip by Mozilla Labs. They do a great job of showing how the future Internet experience might look in the context of sharing our personal preferences.