Online privacy

This week’s topic on online privacy is an interesting and very relevant issue. I am currently sitting in my room, on my computer, on Facebook, and other online social media sites. I have come to believe and agree with Sherry Turkle’s views on the “computer a second self”. I know personally there is little difference between the balance of my public and private like. I am a very open person, and I express myself in the same manner online or in public as I would in private. For example, as I was watching last night’s leafs game (May 13th 2013), I was commenting online similar comments to my friends as I did while I was at the restaurant watching the game. There are certain limits to what I will share however. These limits include no swearing, no vulgar images or suggestions. In an ideal world, I would have more limited to what I post to the public versus how I act in private. However I know myself, and being an open and opinionated person this will not occur. I currently have a Facebook account in which I post comments about how I am feeling, what I am doing, and where I am. I also have an Instagram account that allows uploading and cropping photos to share with my friends. I will release personal information on a whim, more specifically when I feel emotionally connected to an issue. Again for example, the Toronto Maple Leafs game on May 13th, I was constantly posting updates that were relevant to what was happening in the game. I am a huge hockey fan and a proud leafs fan, (even after a critical melt down). This information relates to the readings as the internet allows individuals to “link million of people together in new spaces that are changing the way we think, the nature of our sexuality, the form of our communities, our very identity” (Sherry Turkle, 1999, p. 642). In the essay, “Looking Toward Cyberspace: Beyond Grounded Sociology” Sherry Turkle outlines the key elements of online life and it’s impacts on identity: the creation and projection of constructed personae into virtual space” (Sherry Turkle, 1999, p. 642). It has been stated that “one’s body can be represented by one’s own textual description” (Sherry Turkle, 1999, p. 642). This meaning everything you put online define you. It is known that that joining certain online communities allows the users to have a sense of belonging, while defining to others that you are apart of a certain community.

Some social media activities such as Facebook, Myspace, Cyworld, and Bebo encourage the release of your personal information. Facebook constantly is asking you to update your page, for your personal information. If you do not fill out all your personal information. For instance, if you didn’t add where you work, it will ask you to complete your profile by adding your work place. I find this incredible annoying, and have updated my profile with additional personal information just for it to stop asking me the information. Knowing that millions of people have access to this information you are providing them with makes one constantly reviewing what you have put out there. It is so critical in today’s economy that one put out their best face. Employer’s have access to your social media pages and allows them to seeing a different side of you, in order to make employment decisions.


I have  found while reading through the three readings, overlapping themes and thus an overlap in the information given. I have taken information from all three reading but only sighted one of them as the information was given in all the articles, and some was just common knowledge.



Albrechtslund, A. (2008. Online Social Networking as Participatory Surveilance. First Monday, 13(3), 1-6. Retrieved May 13, 2013, from

Lillie, B. (2012, March 1). Places we don’t want to go: Sherry Turkle at TED2012. TED Blog, 1-3. Retrieved May 13, 2013, from

Turkle, S. (2012, April 21). The Flight From Conversation. The New York Times: Sunday Review. Retrieved May 13, 2013, from

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Image via CrunchBase


7 thoughts on “Online privacy

  1. I have the same feeling here. I don’t feel comfortable about “Knowing that millions of people have access to this information you are providing them with makes one constantly reviewing what you have put out there.” I’d rather to be naked in public, at least all I am showing is just my body not my name, age, education background, and employment history. You can hide your information and photos for strangers on Facebook, so you don’t need to worry about fill out your personal information.

    In addition, I am totally agreed with the limits you shared about no swearing. Personally I hate those boys who got dirty mouth on the internet, especially for the night of leafs vs bruins. I have an Instagram too, and I found it is a good app since it doesn’t require any personal information, which means we don’t need to worry about privacy on it.

    Anyway, your post has some really good points, and sorry about leafs game 7. (My boyfriend is a leafs‘ fan too, so I know its hard.)

  2. Reading this post is like reading into my own thoughts, what I have about myself on Facebook, Istagram and twitter would be enough for someone to physically find me and where I live. Another part of Facebook I have noticed is the ads, I remember sending a friend a message about a tent for a camping trip we were attending in a few weeks, in the next couple of days I had advertisements on Facebook about tents and other camping supplies. Clearly there is some forms of information being shared with companies looking to exploit this information.

    There needs to be an easier way to change the privacy settings on Facebook, I would consider myself to be very good with computers and I don’t even know how to turn some settings off, and if someone who knows what they’re doing can’t, how can you expect people unfamiliar with computers to know how?

    This post was a great read and all of your points are valid well done!


  3. Well written, and very relateable. I had the same experience with the Leaf game as I am a huge fan! We are all privy to this massive network of people we know, and in turn on twitter (through hashtags, and people tagging friends) potential strangers, celebrities, etc. There is a constant struggle as you said with what to post and what not to as a version of our own created privacy. This is getting even worse with the very easy access to our phones, and facebook at the touch of a screen. Thought and tangents we go on can sometimes result in “behaviour” we are not proud of, or we regret. This poses an issue as the articles state that anyone can be watching. With facebook issues can occur with potential employers not wanting to hire you as a result of your social media.

  4. I agree with everything you said in your blob, i most connected with facebook constantly asking you to update personal information. Sometime i even refuse to open facebook on my computer for this reason and stick to using it just on my phone becasue there are less popups for adding information. With all the new forms of social media it has become hard to keep anything private and I dont think people kow how to keep their lives private anymore. Refering to the leafs game i found twitter blowing up after the game, even not having cable at the time i was able to know exactly what was going on the entire game thanks to twitter and my friends using it.

  5. I have to applaud the fact that you have a standard about what you post. To me it shows respect for humanity and consideration of how you are presenting yourself. Having standards in your online writings is a reflection of who you are. You state “there is little difference between the balance of my public and private like. I am a very open person, and I express myself in the same manner online or in public as I would in private.” I like that! You know exactly where you stand with that person and it doesn’t change from online to seeing you in living flesh. I too do not differentiate between the real me and the online me. I am who I am. Plus, I think it would take too much work to keep a dream life going as well as the real life!
    I too find it truly annoying to be constantly asked to complete profile data whether it be Facebook or LinkedIn etc. Why do they need more data? I concur that I only want to share what a future employer could potentially see. Well said!

  6. I really like your post about privacy. I am exactly how you are: what I am in real life is what I am on Facebook or Twitter. I do not feel the need to hide who I am. I am also a very open person on Facebook or Twitter (I do not block my privacy settings at all). I feel that whatever I post online is exactly what I would say in public so I am never worried about someone using this against me. I know that if my employer looked through my Facebook or Twitter account they would not find anything that was inappropriate. I do not swear or use vulgar language either, just as I would not in public life. I think that people who do really make themselves look bad on social media.

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