Is Privacy Really Dead?

Yes, I’m still focused on Michael Hyatt’s book, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World. Great book! Go read it.

This wasn’t really a huge point in Michael’s book, but he did mention privacy (and I saw a Twitter discussion about privacy in recent weeks, so it’s something I had been thinking about).

Here’s what Michael said, on page 166:

“For all practical purposes, privacy is dead … You might as well intelligently feed the Google search engines with what you want people to know about you. You need to be smart about it, but you are in control.”

I don’t think privacy is really dead – and I don’t think Michael Hyatt really thinks that either, based on what he said at the end of that quote – “you are in control.”

I think that’s an important point to make – you are in control of what you share. Yes, if you do a Google search on me, you can find my address (even an aerial shot of my house), a bunch of pictures of me, some pictures of my family, a photo or two of me when I was younger, where I’ve worked since college, a list of (some) books I’ve read, etc.

Then, if you start reading my posts, especially my social media posts, you might find out a few more personal details about me.

But guess what? That’s all info that I’m ok sharing. I have chosen to share most of that stuff. Yes, this is a weird time – so things like my annual salary or an aerial photo of my house are publicly available, and there’s not a lot I can do about that (and I really don’t care about those things).

But the stuff I think of as private – really personal details about my family, for example – I don’t share online. Religious beliefs? I have ‘em. I share a little bit on social media, mostly via photos (I lead worship at my church – whoops! I just shared something!), so you might see a photo of my guitar at church. To me, those are more “let’s grab some coffee and chat” types of things.

But my point – there is still info about me that I control. How? Simple – those things don’t get put online.

Is privacy dead? Nope. Is it easier to accidentally share globally? Yes. Do we need to figure out our social media privacy settings? Yes. Do we need to figure out our “publicly shared comfort level?” Probably so.

Lots to think about, huh?

Funny Venn diagram from Rob Jewitt

My AHA Moment

Recently, the Mutual of Omaha’s AHA Moment van stopped at my library and took some “AHA Moment” videos of Topekans.

Pretty cool project! They’re on a 25-city tour, capturing people’s “Aha moments” – which they define as “It’s a moment of clarity, a defining moment where you gain real wisdom – wisdom you can use to change your life.”

Anyway – I did one – my Aha moment is embedded in this post. Mine was (in true librarian fashion) the reason I became a librarian. A couple of other people from my library did these, too – check them out!

Why show these? It’s a cool project … and one you can potentially mimic. The Mutual of Omaha is doing a national “aha moment” thing … but why couldn’t you do a localized AHA Moment? Or even better – create some “library aha moments” of patrons saying why they love your library! Show patrons sharing what rocks about your library – reading, books, free wifi even.

Either way, it could be a cool way to get your community talking about your library or organization. nothing wrong with that!