Dr. Goschi's Blog

The Death of Privacy

I attended a lecture on Social Privacy by Lori Andrews. She has a new book titled “I know who you are and saw what you did.” Basically, her book talks about how social networks have changed everything about privacy. Most of us, at least our children, have a facebook account that is active. Few understand how our participation in sites, like facebook, effect our personal privacy. In fact, we are reliquishing our privacy as a result of our online social activity.

How is this relevant in my practice with young adults, couples and families. Well, let me tell you what I have been seeing in my office. Schools are aggressively monitoring your child’s activities. Trust me, the high schools all know what a “red cup means.” It’s much better if your child has nothing in their hand because even a diet coke in a red cup will be perceived as a beer. The emotional devastation that occurs due to an expulsion or suspension is sometimes difficult to overcome and can follow the youth going forward.

Some employers use the same strategy to screen out applicants or keep tabs on current employees. The news covered a story on a teacher who took a picture of herself holding a beer while on a European vacation. Her job was terminated because of this posted picture.  Her boss told her that her  “drinking” was poor role-modeling for her students. Mind you, this picture was harmlessly taken while she was with her cohorts vacationing. Hardly, bad role-modeling since she was on her own time and within the legal age limit. The problem was that her students had access to her facebook page. Here is where the teacher should have shown better personal boundary practices.

Many couples end up on my couch after seeing their spouse with another individual on facebook. Not sure why you would post pictures of yourself cheating on your spouse. The trauma and crisis posting such pictures causes are limitless. Look at how it has ruined the political life of Weiner after he posted pictures of his genitals. Many individuals feel the need to post absolutely every aspect of their personal life. Boundary issues, inability to relate personally and a whole host of other pathologies become amplified over the internet.

If you are interested in finding out  more detailed ways in which our privacy has been compromised I strongly recommend that you read Lori Andrews book. She outlines the issues quite well. She also talks about the legal ramifications. Lori offers  eye opening insights for many who have now clue about how facebook and other mediums can be used against them. It’s a great read but be prepared to be scared.

As always, if you need help please call today. Dr. Goschi can be reached at 312-595-1787.

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