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Does Privacy Exist in the Digital Age?

Privacy in the digital age is complicated. The same tools that we can use to connect with friends and develop a professional network can also be a point of potential damage to those relationships we take care to grow and manage. Blurring of the line between private and public spaces is a condition of these tools, but when your identity is mindfully managed you can maintain some semblance of control of your content.

In a world of invisible audiences, where many use social networking as a means to find a connection to a public they are interested in, the way we choose to produce and organize content should be intentional. Limiting the audience you are communicating seems much less difficult than the more drastic suggestions of deleting everything a day after you post it or deactivating your account each time you log out, but I understand that each individuals circumstances might warrant different approaches. I believe that in the process of creating "coded" communications that only a particular intended audience is likely to understand, youth are actually practicing critical thinking skills which is not an altogether bad thing. However, the intention to deceive those who are responsible for the safety of the youth is a concern. Parents who have a strong relationship and open communication with their children probably wouldn't be as likely to be deceived by their children, at least (hopefully) not about serious matters.

One of the main concerns about privacy is in regards to our youth, and I believe that parents should have an online privacy talk with their children, and I also believe this is a subject that should be taught in schools. Managing ones digital identity will only get more complex, and the youth of today will need to be prepared to make intentional choices about what they share and with whom.

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