Preserving my privacy in this digital world: is that even possible?

Last Tuesday, I attended my first virtual meeting for the Open Networked Learning programme that I’m enrolled in, with three other course mates and our facilitators. We spent a fair bit of time discussing privacy issues and just today I read a comment from another course mate of her own brush with unwanted attention stemming from her digital presence. That got me thinking a little more about privacy issues.

I personally have never had to deal with such issues, and have always been very careful about how I present my digital persona. I have read, talked about and even reported about individuals who’ve lost their jobs because of things they’ve posted online. So what is it that makes some people lose their minds when they’re online? What is it that makes others think it is well within their right to stalk their idols online and IRL (in real life, for the uninitiated) ?

Do we automatically forget ourselves when we’re behind a computer screen? Do we completely trust platform owners to keep our private information protected? Or are we just not paying enough attention to the fine print? I for one am guilty of that.

But is it all too late now? Can we reclaim our digital identity and protect it? I don’t really have the answers. But I reckon, we are collectively getting wiser and more cautious.

Also, if not for this wonderful thing called the Internet, I would not have had the opportunity to learn from colleagues, educators and content developers from all over the world. And I wouldn’t in fact be able to share my thoughts like this piece with people I may not even know! So there are definitely great things that have come about because of the Internet, but there are also dark things that came with it. We learn to navigate and propagate the good. It is after all a tool, how we use it, is entirely up to us.

That said, if you are still reading this, do drop me a note and tell me about your experiences. I would really love to hear different perspectives on this. Thank you for reading!

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