01-31-2012 08:05 AM
I have long argued that the future is in virtual worlds. There are many reasons for this, but I'd like to mention one of them now: privacy.
I don't use Facebook, not because I fear the company (though I don't want my personal info used for marketing), but because I don't want to be perpetually monitored by the government, the media, the lawyers and the whackadoodles. My solution is to keep my RL to myself. I don't have a RL Twitter account. I don't have a RL G+ account, I don't have a RL Facebook account. I have no interest in the entire universe knowing my every personal detail. Nor do I wish to end up in jail somewhere because a tweet was taken out of context by a mindless bureaucrat, a mentally ill neighbor or a hungry lawyer.
I believe strongly that the age of RL net identities is coming to an end. I believe it is only a matter of time and a couple high-profile cases before people tone down their RL net identities and build up their VR avatar identities. Many people now have avatar identities they use for virtual worlds, games, blogs, Twitter accounts etc. I see this trend moving beyond a small core of smart people to the wider population. I also believe this trend plays well into the hand of Linden Lab, who have not yet grasped the concept of a parallel world of privacy. In the meantime, be careful what you tweet in RL, be careful what you say on your Facebook page. Big Brother and Little Sister are watching.
01-31-2012 09:29 AM
If you googled me under my RL name you'd find absolutely nothing. If you looked me up in any public directory, nothing would be found. I guard my RL information fanatically, not only on the web but everywhere. I only give out personal information where I am required to by law or needed to complete a transaction for something I initiated and even then I am careful to be sure I only give the minimum required and that it really is required. I don't have anything to hide, but my private life is just that - private.
I don't use any social media out there under my RL name and really don't understand people's need to broadcast all the details of their lives to the world. Employers, banks and the government already troll the net for information that is damaging to a person. It has turned around and bitten more than one person on the a** when they were turned down for a job, a loan or even were arrested because of pictures or posts that they themselves put out there.
People rage against government intrusion in their personal lives then turn around and put it out there for everyone to see and track. It is as puzzling to me as people's willingness to give up their rights to the government for the illusion of security. I wouldn't care and normally I'd say that they deserve the inevitable consequences of this except those of us not willing to follow along will suffer some of them too.
01-31-2012 09:40 AM
It serves him right for writing such stupid stuff. He knows himself, and he knows what he meant, but nobody else does and the U.S. was perfectly justified in turning him around and sending him back.
01-31-2012 09:42 AM
I think it will be a long time before the majority of people cease using their RL identities online. Colleges and potential employers scour sites for information on applicants. Students are warned that stuff they post online can return to haunt them later. I have not seen any evidence that the use of social networking sites has declined; just the opposite. These companies want RL users for RL marketing purposes. Virtual personalities hold no interest. Until virtual personalities have the same income-producing potential as do RL persons, RL information will win out.
01-31-2012 10:26 AM
Engaging in social media is not an all or nothing proposition. Many people may set up FB or other accounts (not twitter since that platform is chiefly about spreading thoughts and ideas) just to remain connected with old friends or acquaintances they met earlier in life and they are otherwise physically apart from. Many are separated from relatives also; given the mobility of the world population, there are valid reasons for this type of engagement. Also just because one opens up a FB account doesn't mean he broadcasts everything to the world. That's why there are different privacy settings available on those platforms and a user can choose to share as much or as little as he likes. This type of media will not go away unless there is an enormous, widespread abuse of it that becomes recognized by millions of people.
I see the main benefit of virtual avatar identites/networking in idea exploration. Not getting pegged down by sterotypes; being able to argue and explore and even inhabit different types of perspectives with fewer consequences. In an internet world where people are constantly allowing themselves to be polarized politically (by only engaging in reinforcing ideas and perspectives - for instance only ever reading the Huffington Post or Drudge Report, etc.), it's a very useful way to wrestle with ideas and words without necessarily having to claim them as one's own or perceived static "identity." This can bring its own set of problems, but that seems to me one of its chief merits. If used in this way, it can lead to a more understanding, less polarized population. The "other" can become "me" and vice versa. So for this reason I'd like to see virtual identity continue to be available to everyone and more widely taken up by the general population. I would hope neither one nor the other would win out as I can see enormous benefits to both.
01-31-2012 10:58 AM
Deltango Vale wrote:
I believe strongly that the age of RL net identities is coming to an end.
I strongly disagree with this statement. I think it's just the opposite.
The article that you cited, and others like, do not point to a need to end RL identities on the net. Instead they point to the need for better training for security people. That's all. The example in the article is for two people. But, plenty of other people get stopped all the time in RL, for all manner of things security related, but it just does not get the news media attention.
Personally, I'd rather have transparency, and if it means that a couple of vacationers are sent home for a false alarm, so be it. I'd rather error on the side of safety, and if those two had actually done something in the US, those tweeted words would have come back to haunt the security people.
I'm not interested in online alter-egos, and the only reason I have my SL avatar name is because that was the option given when I joined SL. I've shared my RL name and identity with people in SL, and have some SL residents as my Facebook friends, and we are using our RL names there. Also, on G+. I don't use those social venues often, but it's for lack of time, not my privacy that keeps me away.
I'd like to see people using their RL identities in a virtual world, and other online activities. In RL when I walk down the street or go to the store, I don't go incognito, so there is no reason for that in online activities either. If people are worried about their sexual activates, I would also like to see that opened up and viewed as normal, so people do not feel the need to hide by an alias.
My avatar is a not a made-up character, it's me. Recent ads that LL did late last year, showed people's RL pictures beside their SL avatars. That was brilliant marketing by SL. I hope that trend continues.
01-31-2012 11:08 AM
I don't have much choice, because of being a tiny tiny tiny bit well known I've made the media several times under my real name, so there is no hiding from that.
But perhaps because of that and because I am very old fashioned, everything I (have to) share on the internet I keep covered up, decent or polite.
In other worlds, there is a lot about me on the internet, but little of it is truly personal, private or something I don't want to share with the world anyway.
Visit Time Portal the Time Travel sim!
01-31-2012 12:17 PM
It dont work like that, i know lots think they bug places like face book and such, but all emails are filtered, its the law, even if you sent an email to yourself they would know its contents, they have programs that search EVERY EMAIL sent for key words and phrases, this is done by the security services as it leaves your machine and before it gets to the person your sending it to..
01-31-2012 12:51 PM - edited 01-31-2012 12:54 PM
I don't know if I'd agree that RL social networking is coming to an end. I do think there will be, in fact is, an on-going reaction to all the negative things that have happened as a result of too much private information made public. People got carried away with the (indisputable) power of things like Twitter and Facebook. I think now there's a bit of a retraction going on.
I really like the idea of VL networking expanding. I love the openness we are allowed when we can speak as ourselves but with some privacy. I realize that's not to everyone's taste. Everyone has a different approach. Celestiall's is practically the opposite of mine, for instance, but part of that is just the way I am. I value my RL privacy period, not just as it relates to my SL avatar. I take pleasure in the fact I've yet to find myself by googling my name. Even when I use first-middle-last, and include my home state in the search. I've gone deep enough in the pages so the results start to scatter and still haven't seen myself. I like that.
The problem is that with the overwhelming acceptance of all this there's almost a need to be part of it. I can see a time when a job applicant will be looked upon with suspicion if she DOESN"T have a Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and all the rest presence. That time may very well be upon us. I am at a point where career moves don't matter to me so the fact I have none of those doesn't matter.
Edited to reduce Celestiall's 'L' count (was four in the original)
01-31-2012 03:10 PM
Dillon Levenque wrote:
Edited to reduce Celestiall's 'L' count (was four in the original)
I once was discussing the posts that were trending on the feeds. I said, "Well one post is for that Thinkerererer...guy"