Saturday, March 10, 2012

Old Myths (A Stolen Post)

Just a quick acknowledgement. If I'm going to steal the guts of a blog post, I might as well credit it (this is essentially how Creative Commons and Open Source works) - So thank you Dorothy Burt. (Yes, I am asking forgiveness rather than permission).

A few years ago at a birthday party of mine a friend of mine was happily snapping away with her digital camera. In fact, she was the only one doing so, so a few people asked her if she could email them copies - me included. Social networking hardly existed at all back then. She sent me a link. I clicked on the link and it wanted me to register with some stupid service called Bebo. This was before I knew anything about social networking. I wasn't interested. I generally don't sign up to things if I don't know what they are.

But they're my pictures!

Nowadays I'm a little more aware. While walking through town I do my best to avoid being in the background of pictures being taken by inconsiderate people blocking foot traffic on Queen Street. All of the kids have cameras on their netbooks and often get told off if they take a photo of me without asking permission. Just about every cellphone these days have a camera. It's impossible to completely avoid having photos taken of you. Hell - in London they're probably watching your every move on Closed Circuit TV.

Back in the early days of cellphones a friend said that she'd often joked when on the phone about her going into the shower and if you were quick enough, you could join her... She'd stopped using that joke once cellphones were a little more commonplace.

An example of where technology changes our attitudes... So, about my soul then... There are plenty of things that I do that I'd rather my parents didn't know about or see. Or that I'd rather my boss didn't see. Hell, that I'd rather future employers or clients didn't see... Or I'd love to avoid the photos that have me looking fat. That list goes on and on. Why would Google choose the whole "circle" paradigm for Google Plus if people weren't concerned by this?

So photos taken of me and put on the net have the potential of stealing something... my soul? Well okay, probably not. My reputation almost certainly.

You've got to wonder though - where did that particular myth come from? Are we seeing an interesting piece of myth become reality? It seems more possible now given the technology...

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