Manic Fringe


The personal blog of the one and only Luc Gendrot. Internet Superhero. Not really.

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Internet privacy pessimism

All rights Fox corporation yadda yadda. I don't own Futurama. I just needed a snappy photo for the top

"Delete that post and let the internet forget about it"

"It's not smart to have your blog tied to your real name, don't you think employers google you?"

Someone I was having a conversation with on Reddit told me those two things in the context of the post I wrote the other day. The post echoed my disgruntled angst surrounding my place in the higher education system.

The conversation I had with that reddit user got me thinking about internet privacy (like everyone else, right?). I especially thought about all the things I put out onto the internet for everybody to see. Do I care if people know my stance on things? Do I care that people know I'm gay? Do I care if they know I dropped the fuck word in one of my posts? (oops?)

It occurs to me that nobody seems to CARE about my opinion no matter how loudly I broadcast it. It also occurs to me that I'm not a radical in any way shape or form, and that my opinions probably don't elicit any rage or offense in people. So in all honesty my internet presence SHOULDN'T be a detriment to me, I'm pretty normal in most respects. I think people are just afraid of the internet

People have been concerned with privacy on the internet probably since its inception, and recently lots of articles written by sites like Mashable and Forbes have highlighted the potential pitfalls that come with a large internet presence. Specifically they bring to light the trend of employers screening potential hires based on those pictures from last weekend, or that status they wrote about the annoying people at the mall, or even for the blog post you wrote about being a disgruntled biology undergraduate in a bubble that's about to pop.

In a world where we're so easily connected to one another, it's not hard to learn somebody's feelings on something by just sifting through their Facebook profiles. Individual people output massive amounts of data in a way that hasn't ever been seen before. I can't shake the feeling that it's a mistake to JUDGE them based on that data.

It's interesting to think that there were no blogs a few years ago, instead of writing a short post and posting it immediately people may have had a self published periodical (probably not), or a personal journal that only they saw, or perhaps they might have been a legitimately published author. There weren't as many avenues to have your voice heard. People couldn't just sit at home on their couch and have their thoughts broadcast to the entire world with the push of a button. It's easier than ever before to set up a blog and start writing. More than ever before people are able to make their opinion known, and not just to a couple people, potentially to anybody with an internet connection.

Shouldn't we love how easy it is now to be a writer now? Even if it's just a hobby?

I don't really want to live in a world where people think that anything connecting me to my online presence is just inherently bad. I especially don't want to live in a world where employers can demand employees' Facebook information.

The world I most don't want to live in though, is the world where my favorite outlet for the creativity I have and the desire I have to write and be heard is what prevents me from getting a job or prevents people from taking me seriously.

F' that. No thank you.

I feed on your attention, so in the spirit of "having your opinion heard": let me know your thoughts on the subject in the comments!

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