The post focused on a talk by Genevieve Bell, an anthropologist working for Intel. She discusses lying online, starting with her frustration when she couldn’t remember what date of birth she’d given to Flickr — meaning that she was locked out of her own account.
That remark alone hooked me, because I often manufacture dates of birth or ZIP codes. I realize that the Washington Post online site wants to have demographics; I just don’t see why they need to have mine. (For speedy retrieval, when a store asks my phone number, I give one from a job I left seven years ago.)
Here’s Bell’s talk:
I especially enjoyed Ian Delaney’s musing about transparency and online connection:
On Twitter, you are allegedly telling the world â€˜what are you doing right now?â€™. But I did a little search on Twitter for â€˜having a wankâ€™ (sorry, mum) and the lack of any direct matches would seem to support Bellâ€™s contention.
Bell points out (sensibly, I think) that technology changes far faster than people do. I read lots of opinions about technology transforming how we live and work; Bell reminds us that internal transformation can take a bit longer. As she says, deception and self-deception may be necessary parts of human survival.