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August 3, 2009 / TildeWill

You Can’t Find Me in the Crowd

I’ve been part of several conversations lately that tell me people are afraid that “big brother” knows or will soon know more than they’re comfortable with. One conversation was about the Patriot Act, I also was recently sent this link about what ordering pizza could be like. It basically shows a pizza girl clicking through the customer’s health info, recent travel purchases, etc.,  and it is all meant to scare you so that you “Take Action” at the end.

But why shouldn’t a pizza joint help me make good health decisions by upping the price when I order a pie? I still have the choice, it just is less attractive now to do the thing I wanted to do. Is it really so bad that this information is at someone’s fingertips? If you live in a small community you already know what it can be like with everyone knowing what everyone else is up to. This isn’t new. More importantly, why are you living life in a way that you have something to hide?

You argue back, “I don’t have anything to hide, but what if I’m overlooked for a job because I have a heart condition, or because I spend a lot of money on pink flamingos?” To that I submit that you’ve probably been overlooked for things that weren’t true about you. Wouldn’t you rather people made decisions about you based on the truth?

Sure, if one person lets it all hang out while the rest of us keep it all in, he’s going to be pretty vulnerable. But if we all lay it on the line for public examination, the guy who hides and holds back sticks out and draws attention. The more you make visible, the easier it is for people to trust you.

The spread of information isn’t anything new, we see it in society old an new. You’re already being judged, so why not give someone more than just a cover to go off of? Lastly, airing out your dirty laundry builds trust, so you have nothing to lose and so much to gain. Share your life, share it freely with anyone who will listen.

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