Saturday, December 17, 2016

New public self

Web does something interesting in that even if not on it, it can push your public self in ways not previously true. Like if I meet someone and ask a few questions: Like, are you on social media? Do you watch web video? How do you get your news?

If a person is not on social media, doesn't watch web video and gets their news from television then I feel like I know a lot about that person quickly. If they ARE on social media for instance though then I may just go look and see what public they have up!

That public person is the modern persona which is available 24 hours a day.

We have a new kind of public self.

Like it dawned on me recently that MOST people who know of me anywhere, probably know of me because of things I have public on the web, like here.

Sat and pondered that sentence for a bit as very different from world I was trained to face as a kid, as that world evolved into our modern one, and a public reality that is increasingly default, even in the null case.

You have a public persona in the modern world whether you like it or not, even if it is a null one driven by NOT being on the web as people can find that out too!

For me the public persona is fun. It intrigues me that people can literally spend days reading through things I've written and maybe learn a bit about me, if they wish. Choice rules. If they lack interest though is not a negative for me as I will not know either way for most regardless. I will not know what choice was made by most people who come across my content. That is the new public reality that is true for all. Is maybe weird though? Thought and pondered that for a bit too.

Trying to measure though is the web analytics problem which consumes many.

And people trying to figure out where your interest goes is defining the web, and pushing back into society, as can help figure out decisions that will be made, like how you might vote in an election, like the recent one here in the US.

The web has the unique ability to potentially have information readily available on every single person on planet Earth. That potential is driving so much whether you like it or not, consider it or not, or know of it or not.

Your public self will matter, even if is null from trying to stay off the web.

And there will be people who will learn about you whether you wish them to know anything or not. For instance for many it's as simple as web search, as web search will likely tell.

Thinking how you present in public will define you, as how you think? Will determine how you act. And your actions will define the behaviors others may notice.

James Harris
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