Living in the public eye by choice

By Haley M. Walker |

At one point our lives behind closed doors, were just that: behind closed doors, where no one could see what our favorite television show was or an embarrassing ritual that we had to perform before going to bed.

However, all that has changed, and we have become a society of intrigued watchdogs. Through increased communication technology, we have learned to not only closely watch the lives of others, but to record the detailed lives of ourselves as well.

Why is it that we have become so consumed with making information that was once so personal so incredibly public?

The elements that are feeding and charging this issue include programs such as Facebook, MySpace and also a newer, and possibly scarier, practice known as blogging.
Each of these seems to provide the unprecedented opportunity for people not only to provide a minute-to-minute update on the happenings of their own lives, but also insight into the personal lives of others as well.

With the use of these new forms of technology, we are creating a detailed communication medium on which we display our most inner thoughts and experiences for the world to both see and judge.

Facebook and MySpace have grown from once small networking sites to now major, nagging thoughts in the back of many students’ heads while away from the computer. Many of us cannot wait to get out of class, work or any other obligation to discover the latest news feed, view the pictures that were just posted and check hundreds of statuses.

In fact, I admit that I have checked my Facebook probably 10 times in the course of writing this, so I am definitely guilty of this unfortunate habit as well.

We have become obsessed with spending hours watching the small changes that people make in their moods, relationships, jobs and friends.

Why is it that we have all of the sudden become so consumed by watching the personal lives of others unfold through these impersonal, technological mediums?

Although, it is somewhat embarrassing to actually realize the time that we spend concentrating on such details, there is no doubt that this trend has become a major characteristic of society today.

In addition to the most popular programs such as Facebook and MySpace, there is an even larger movement that is about to further compliment and enhance this issue.

Blogging is becoming an unprecedented way for people to express their everyday lives and thoughts in an even lengthier and sometimes more complex way.

Blogging was first introduced in 1994 by a college student, and now has become a popular ritual for people of all ages, occupations and races.

This practice of placing a list of things that you ate that day in combination with your thoughts on who should be the president is becoming more widespread each day.

The things that we once held sacred in a small book in our bookshelf are now posted on the largest and most accessible publishing medium in the world.

So what does this mean for society today? Will we ever get burnt out on this new phase of intense publicity?

I’m not quite sure. However, I think it is important to realize and recognize that this trend is occurring.

While it is OK to be social in today’s well-networked world, we need to ask ourselves if it is normal to spend so much time concentrating on the small details of our own lives and the details of friends (or complete strangers).

I think it is important to recognize these watchful qualities that we are developing, in order to fully recognize what kind of effects technology is truly having upon us all.

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