It’s time to step back from privacy paranoia

| October 27, 2018
My generation and those before placed great emphasis on personal freedom and privacy from unwanted interference. We are constantly being urged to protect our computers from spyware, etc. However, if we look at our situations logically are we being blindsided and just a bit paranoid?
At school, we were taught not to lie. When we left, we found that spin-doctors were admired, as were diplomats and advertising ‘executives’. We go through life telling and expecting little lies; lies to children to help make a valid point; lies to others to boost their morale; lies to get out of an argument.
We are aware that nearly all governments are working on producing computer viruses, hacking our phones, stealing industrial secrets – as are many large private companies.
Psychologists are being paid large salaries to look at our habits and determine what we would probably do under different conditions; our buying habits are being analyzed in order formulate advertising to our computers.
With the rapid rise of world-wide communication, many of us are placing more of our innermost thoughts and ideas on to social media sites with little or no regard as to its eventual use.
Children and young adults today do not have the same concept of privacy that I was brought up to expect and there is no valid reason that we should try and force the issue – as long as they are aware of the possible results of their openness.
There are advantages to being completely open to others. Anyone who has lived in a small country town knows that everyone is interested in everyone else’s business, especially when we had the ‘party lines’ where others could listen in to our telephone conversations. The upside is that when something goes pear-shaped, many of the residents come round with offers of help.
I am not advocating dumping virus checkers, etc., but I do feel that we sometimes get a little paranoid about our digital security. If someone got into my computer they would probably die of boredom before finding anything of monumental interest.
However, those who take over computers and cause damage to others definitely need to be brought to task. However, the arguments against the Australia card and the new health initiative show that maybe we don’t think through the ramifications of what it is that we are arguing about – the overall benefit for the majority.
Let’s stand back from the towers of academia for a moment and ponder what is it that we are so desperate that others don’t find out about us?

One Comment

  1. Alan Stevenson

    Alan Stevenson

    October 30, 2018 at 8:23 am

    I have received a useful comment from a couple who work with youth in North Queensland.
    From my observations working with young people, social media can creates a false sense of connection. In my studies there is a basic fundamental statement that the opposite of addiction is connection. What some young people fail to realise is that the sense of having 352 Facebook friends creates a false sense of connection. But in fact these young people are becoming more disconnected than ever, and this platform is often a catalyst for abusive and undesirable behaviour including bullying and unrealstic values and ideals. Another issue that young people somtimes fail to realise is the importance of tone within written communication, with comments often misconstrued as negative, when in fact the sender had good intentions. Another issue stems from young people being impulsive, and regretting comments made on social media in the heat of the moment. Unfortunately this creates a situation where a young person feels condemned by their piers, or placed in a position where they feel cornered and have to stick by their guns to save face because they told “the world”.