Privacy: Reality or Concept?

The notion of privacy is interesting because it is often perceived to be assumed, to an extent. People operate in a way that suggests that they believe that if they do not openly share with the world the ins and outs of their life, that their life is inherently private, but this is not the case at all. People also function as if privacy is valued and considered to be precious in modern society, but privacy is always sacrificed, in one way or another, and often, without a second thought.

For example, celebrities. People who grew up idolizing their role models at one point, having the most privacy because they are not deemed to be “important” by the mass, popular media. So, they worked hard to make their identity public, sacrificing their privacy in hopes of fame, fortune, and notoriety. They give up the privacy of their personal relationships, finances, fashion choices, diet—every detail about their personal existence to create a brand which can be sold and facilitated to the masses. Another example, cellular phones. Every day, people sacrifice their privacy on social media to their friends and family, showing their innermost thoughts and feelings, the places they frequent, the friends which with they spend time, and more. They are also surrendering this information to anyone who follows them on social media, sacrificing their privacy for social influence and money. On the other hand, people also sacrifice privacy on their phones through the data that they plug into their phone, sharing their location, and internet cache. This is done for a number of reasons: to receive advertisements for products they might like, to ensure their safety if they are an Apple user utilizing “Find My” features, or to ensure that they do not forget the passwords they need day-to-day on their important, personal accounts. Often, people overemphasize the amount of privacy they actually have, but these discussions can disillusion a careless person, like me.

When discussing privacy in the modern technological era, it is not what I am willing to give up my privacy for as much as how far I want my personal profile to extend and where I want that access to end. Sacrificing one’s privacy is inevitable because it is a key element of all facets of modern society. My phone number is in so many locations on the internet because these platforms require it as a part of the sign-on process. My full name is found on so many profiles because the information which aligns with my status as a United States citizen has to align with my name to avoid instances of fraud. Furthermore, there are benefits such as access to social programs, membership in communities, and socioeconomic advancement by having certain accolades attached to my name through a sacrifice of privacy, the inevitable occurrence for progress. However, I do have control over the profiles which do not require my name, and in these instances, I can decide that I do not want to have my privacy be invaded by a Google search by creating an alias. I navigate some spaces which are free from identifiable information because I want some of these spaces to myself. Nonetheless, it could be argued that even this is not true privacy. People will still know who I am. If I have not disabled the features, people can search my profile through my phone number or email. Even further, my IP address is linked to the sign-ins on the account. In an ideal world, I would want to be able to have two lives: one in the public eye and one which I keep to myself and my closest friends, but that is nearly impossible to do in a world where everything is often linked together and easily found.

About Taylor

Pontificator, Overthinker, Lover of Witty Banter. Is this thing on?
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