I read your post about Facebook and just wanted to drop a line. You had asked me to write something weeks ago, and I didn’t have anything on my mind at the time. I do now.
I am in a privileged position: I am not required to have a social media presence in order to conduct business. What’s more, I don’t think it’s necessary to use Facebook or any other platform in order to feel connected to my friends and family.
People have no idea what problems they are creating for themselves by not living their lives more privately. It’s bad enough that credit reporting agencies know as much as they do. That’s not really something you can do much about. Giving information voluntarily for no business purpose is a choice, and one people should make carefully.
I just spent some time in South America, and I can tell you this: when things get really bad economically, individuals and institutions look for obvious targets to blame and plunder. If people have lived quietly and privately, they have a better chance of not getting in the crosshairs of envious neighbors or bullying bureaucrats.
America hasn’t been hit yet, but 2007 on steroids is rolling its way toward us. There are just too many economic factors coming into play simultaneously. Exactly what challenges and responses this coming downturn is going to trigger is anyone’s guess. I don’t think there are going to be shortages of food, fuel, or housing. I do think that these things will become incredibly expensive. It’s going to squeeze a lot of people. Anger is going to build. And trouble is going to brew.
Oversharing about having a fabulous personal life (true or not), conspicuous displays of wealth, and condescending behavior toward others are the trifecta of just asking for trouble when the worm turns. I think you once mentioned that you sometimes regretted what you shared with people but rarely regretted what you didn’t share. I think privacy is like that, which Facebook just obliterates.
Like you’ve always said, everyone will be a lot better off in oxford button-downs, khakis, penny loafers, a used car, and a modest attitude. And I’ll add: a low profile online.
I shall now step down off my soapbox, and leave the rest to you.