Open Mixtape

Songs of Privacy, Being Left Alone, and Being Watched

  1. Every Breath You Take (The Police)
  2. My Life (Billy Joel)
  3. Private Eyes (Hall and Oates)
  4. The Gardener (Tallest Man on Earth)
  5. Mind Your Own Business (Hank Williams Jr)
  6. I’m Alright (Kenny Loggins)
  7. Ain’t Nobody’s Problem (Lumineers)
  8. Perfectly Lonely (John Mayer)
  9. Splendid Isolation (Warren Zevon)
  10. Promises (Eric Clapton)

Open v. Private

It all comes down to control. Privacy is the product of controlling who you interact with and who can view your information. In the readings, teens less seek privacy, as they are trying to exhibit control over their environment, which is a distinctly human desire.

An increase in openness represents a person’s comfort and feeling of control of a situation. a teen doesn’t want their parents in their room if they feel that their parents will ridicule or punish them for something, but if they feel like they can control, or have gained control of the outcome of a parents “visit” to their room, they will tend to be more open.

Privacy, on the other hand, is the product of a person’s desire to gain more control over their environment. Think of a person’s Facebook privacy settings the same way a dictator views news media, if they feel that they are not in control of the content, they try to rein it in and gain control over what is discussed, when, how, and for how long. Privacy is rooted in concern, not necessarily fear, but concern, for the outcome of a situation. a child unsure how their parents will react upon entering their room will try to maintain strict privacy so that they feel in control of their environment.

privacy in a  networked society is just the product of people exerting their control over their information, opinions, and thoughts. Privacy is going to look very different from person to person. but so long as everyone is able to control the situation, understand the situation and the rules pertaining to it, and able to manage the outcome of the situation, everyone will be able to control their own desires privacy level. It is all about being informed and making decisions thusly.

I had a very similar situation to what Boyd described regarding collapsing contexts. I went to a wedding and met my high school gym teacher at the bar. It was a very uncomfortable first few minutes, as we each tried to tease out the other’s reaction, but we quickly lightened up and got to talking nonsense. It is a very unusual situation and one I feel that we do not prepare our children to react appropriately to as adults. Especially as teachers, we cultivate these personas of who we want the students to think of us as, and I am sure they would be shocked to see us in a bar one day.