Thursday, February 22, 2007

This Space is My Space, It is Not Your Space

Aside from being relatively guarded about my own space in general, I feel it necessary to express the fact that I have some issues with the public internet zone otherwise known as My Space.

In all fairness to the folks over at My Space, I can say that I appreciate that there are many practical things inherit to its function. Personally, I like the fact that it enables me to keep track of far-flung friends. No complaints there. Like sending a text message, sending a comment to a friend is an easy way to maintain an open conversation without having to, converse. However, it does start to feel a bit too public and antiseptic when a private conversation takes on public proportions of back and forth comments for all to read. Aside from this, I think what bothers me more about My Space is the overt self-promotion that everyone feels compelled to do on their page. On one hand, it's great to find a forum of self-expression and creativity, but I guess it's just not my thing.

Recently, a rather unstable person from my past got in touch with me through my account. He not only requested that we be friends through this system, but in his email to me, he mentioned that he had saved all of my images for his "personal use". Poor me for saying it, but I felt a little violated. Ironically, this person was the very reason that I made my account private. I reopened it a few weeks ago for a friend of mine overseas to check out my recent pictures. Because I forgot to reset my settings, it opened the door for this individual to contact me. From this point on, my account will never be for public viewing again.

The thing about space is that it's my space...not your space. I feel like this problematic space issue is now a reflection of our technology-driven generation, wherein we are all a click away from each other, and fully accessible 24 hours a day. I, for one, really dislike it. I'm a big fan of privacy and not being completely commodified by all of my gadgets. I also space. For example, if I don't check my email 10 times a day, I run into professional issues. And I dislike the fact that in order to be a participant in society, I must give out my cell phone number in personal and professional arenas. With the last person I worked for, my cell phone meant that I was on-call 24 hours a day. I think this is the fundamental reason why Americans are overworked and don't know their families. Yes, I turn my phone off when I'm eating dinner. And yes, I absolutely turn it off when I'm on vacation. And I really dislike the fact that not picking up is an indication of my own rudeness, even when I'm being called at fundamentally inappropriate hours. Yes, of course, I screen my calls! Who are we kidding? And call me crazy, but I don't return every personal phone call right away. I'm just not a phone person. I make time for what is important. And don't worry, if I'm dodging you, you'll know it.

But yeah, back to the space thing. I would really prefer to take down my profile for good, but for now I will just remain on the fringes of humanity. That is, in the more humane side of things...

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