The colorful wolf

February 20, 2008

Truth and privacy

Filed under: Thoughts — randy @ 0:37

It’s interesting to see how many people in our team have blogs, and it’s even more interesting to see what they put on them. Some of them put travel reports, others put information for their family for while they are in Japan. Still others have generic blogs and talk about the topics that interest them. Most of them are quite public, although some of them are so private that you need to get a verbal invitation plus URL from the person who created the blog to know about it. Of course, if that person is not careful, then many people who should not see your private blog might find out about it, and read what you tried to keep secret from others. Which leads to the question: why do people not share everything about themselves online?

It seems there are many obvious answers, but I only like one of them: misinterpretation. People may read your blog and think they know who you are. They are always wrong. No matter how well they think they know you, a blog can never show what kind of person you are. Even if I would post everything that happens to me on this blog (which I don’t!), you would still not know me. It might provide some insight in me, but that’s only extra information that belongs to the real me, whom you don’t know.

There’s two ways of lying: one is outright lying: telling something that is not true. The other some/most people might not consider lying: not telling the whole truth. Yet to me, when the whole truth is relevant to the person you are speaking to, withholding the full truth is the same thing as lying. I’m very good at not telling the whole truth, and making my statements just ambiguous enough for them to mean something different than what people would normally think, yet at the same time it’s not a lie by the first definition.

One thing I am looking for recently is a bit more honesty. There is nothing wrong with telling the truth, even if it means that you have to hurt people a bit, or if they find out things about you or people you know, that might turn out to be bad for you in the long run. In the long run honesty prevails, ‘they’ say. I wonder how many businessmen agree with that statement. I’m not a businessman though, and my moral standard is in need of some tuning. The truth will set me free.

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