We’re all spying on each other

If you follow me on this blog or on Instagram or Twitter, you pretty much know that I walk in New York virtually every day, I like to find interesting and inspiring stuff, and I like to produce my own content.

You can define me through my social shares. But if we’re friends on Facebook, you may get a bit more insight into my life.

For example, the other day an old high school friend who I hadn’t seen or heard from in a decade knew I was married. The only way she would’ve known that is via my Facebook page. She wasn’t being weird of course; her knowledge is what’s commonly called “Ambient Awareness,” i.e. knowing facts about someone else based on what you’ve seen on their social profiles.

I can also say that I know information about other people just by seeing their content in my feeds. I have no interest in knowing more information about them, but I can’t avoid and simply forget the information they publish, especially the images. 

I find it fascinating that we can all follow each other passively and know about each other’s lives without ever actually catching up face to face. It’s like free eavesdropping but with the permanance of recorded imagery and texts in status posts.

It’s no wonder the kids are communicating directly using Snapchat. You know that I know that you know things about me that I didn’t think you knew.  Right? 

All of us are just as guilty as the NSA for spying on each other, whether we mean to or not. If the next time I see you and we talk about dogs, it may just be because I know you have one and I’m thinking about getting one myself. At least now we have something to relate to and talk about, whether you meant to tell me or not.

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Published by Wells Baum

A daily blogger who connects the dots between arts and life.

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