do.n’t c.a.ll me lud.di.te

May 21, 2008

I had a widget up yesterday.

I took it down.

Here’s my thing:

If three years ago you received a letter from a government official saying “we’d like to know which websites you frequent” – or better, “we already know which websites you frequent and we’d like to talk to you about them” – if you had received that letter three years ago, wouldn’t you think twice about your own security and privacy? Would you start taking ACLU op-eds more seriously? Would you change your web habits?

So many people up in arms about government intrusions into their private lives and the same ones giving themselves away for free because… honestly I really don’t know why.

What’s the value in someone else being able to see your favorite sites?

Does it make you feel smart or cool to think that your account could be a guide through the Internet jungle for someone with your unique interests? Or do you feel like part of something larger seeing how many other people have added the same links you do? Does that make you feel cool?

I know people will throw “Luddite” around a lot if they ever actually read this post, but seriously, tell me the value in real human terms of posting a list of cool things you’ve found on the Internet or subscribing to someone else’s. Why not just tell your friends about them? Isn’t that what e-mail or… I dunno, talking is for?

Is it so you can look up celebrities’ accounts? “What food blogs does Bobby Flay read? Which LOLcat video would Nicholas Kristof recommend?” (Can you even do this?)

I’m not ragging on it or people who use it. I just think it’s another thing we waste time on that we don’t need. Like twitter (sp?) or the drill-powered garden tiller or cocaine or the knife-cutting shoe, it’s something that sounds good when it’s late at night or you’re lonely and you’ve run out of other options for human connection or spiritual quietude.

But that’s just me.


6 Responses to “do.n’t c.a.ll me lud.di.te”

  1. ctrembz Says:

    I think your last paragraph basically sums up, not only the described situation, but life in general as well.

  2. jd1220 Says:

    I don’t think it has to but I see what you mean.

  3. Peter Says:

    you’re the one broadcasting your identity on the internet!
    Not that I know RSS feeds/ delicious from adam, but those essentially do the same thing as tagging a photograph on flickr–you subscribe to certain key terms that are automatically updated for you.
    Have twenty sites you like to check for, I don’t know, standings of a tour de france cyclist? Get that information sent to you as it’s updated, based on search terms you’ve set.

    Drawing the privacy line there doesn’t make sense. We’ve already made our personal letters globally available, so having the virtual mailman deliver them to your house rather than leaving them to float is more logical than invasive.

  4. jd1220 Says:

    50 points to Peter and a chance for the win in the bonus round.

  5. peter Says:

    blogs coming on well. I’m into it

  6. […] I know I ragged on last week. And I know this is basically the same […]

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