Privacy of the Tell-All Generation

It is really interesting to see a change in perspective in terms of how much personal information should be publicly posted by the Tell-All Generation.  Actually, I am not too surprised by the change.

You see, individuals in their 20s, have traditionally posted a lot of information about themselves online.  It may be about their daily activities, personal relationships, academic experiences, or their opinion on the latest news event.

However, according to a NY Times article, a PEW Internet Project research reports by Berkeley is scheduled to be released this month shows a strong trend by this age group that they are now guarding personal information more closely and limiting the type and amount of information about themselves that is available to the general public.  It is quite a switch from how they have been freely posting information about themselves in the public domain.

I think that one of the main pivotal points is when this age group hits the employment line.  They realize that the information they post may very well be viewed by potential employers, mentors, or those who have the power to influence their future career and education paths.

Why should there be a sudden change in their philosophy?  Part of it, I think is this age group coming to terms with being responsible with the information they divulge to the general public.  They realize that they are responsible for their actions & words; what they say or do may come back to haunt them.

Another factor is the current economy.  Everyone realizes how tight the job market has become, and I believe this age group wants to minimize anything that might harm their changes of getting a job, selective school, or future career path.

There have also been a number of security issues that have been highlighted in the news recently.  Google’s email and password systems were hacked a few months ago, Facebook keeps changing their privacy terms and opening the amount of personal information of individuals to third party vendors. There is a growing concern about just how secure personal information is on social networks and free services.

What better way is there to make sure your personal information is secure than not posting it online in the first place?

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About repplinger

John has served as a Reference Librarian at Willamette University since 2002. He is the liaison to the Science Departments, and is responsible for maintaining the collections related to the life & physical sciences. His research interests range over the entire spectrum of libraries and information sciences, but includes: - Google and its influence on information & society - The Internet's influence on information seeking & sharing behaviors - Trends of scholarly communication - Electronic learning environments - Traditional pedagogy - GIS use in academic libraries

Posted on May 10, 2010, in Facebook, Google, Privacy, Social Networks and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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