Cyberme : Self-ing and privacy

The cyberself is the emergent product of social interaction in which the self masters the ability to be both the subject and object of interaction. In this way, cyberself-ing creates the virtual “I/me” couplet. Online, the homepage allows the ‘I’ to present the self to the cyberother; in fact, the very construction of the homepage presumes the expectation of the virtual ‘generalized other’. The ‘I’ constructs the homepage with expressions given by choosing text, photos, and digital formatting with the other’s reaction in mind. The ‘I’ solicits the other’s gaze through links to email, tabs to post comments, hit counters, and membership in webrings. Each of these indicate the ‘I’s’ expectation of the other’s presence and eventual appraisal. Once the ‘I’ perceives the cyberother’s reaction, this reflexive constitution produces the ‘cyberme’. The growth from the ‘I’ to the ‘me’ occurs through interaction. In early homepages, the ‘I’ could remain in isolation, unable to read the cyberother’s reaction because there was no interactional space. There were no ‘signals that inform senders that reception is taking place. Therefore, when homepages stand in isolation, there is no interaction. However, today, homepages rarely stand in isolation as projections of the ‘I’. Rather, they are imbedded in or transformed by other forms of CMC that facilitate the interaction necessary to self-ing. In virtual communities such as Facebook , links to the ‘all about me’ page are embedded in interactional spaces called ‘boards’. These links move users between textual interactions and spaces of identity construction; this is just one permutation of the homepage. In other forums, such as political discussion groups, users employ links or references to professional homepages to give credence to their own assertions. In these ways, the homepage continues to be an expression of the ‘I’ that anticipates the cyberother’s reaction, thus creating the ‘me’. When used to bolster manifestations of the ‘I’ in interactional settings, the homepage does not rest in isolation but becomes part of the self-ing process.

Furthermore, in web logs or ‘blogs’, as well as online diaries, virtual spaces enlarge the conception of the homepage with interactional space. Blogs allow the same presentation of the ‘I’ as do homepages, but they also expect the other to interact to the ‘I’ in the same virtual space. The blogger presents the ‘I’ both through constructing the page and maintaining dialogue with other ‘I’s’ that post reactions and commentary. In blogging, each manifestation of the ‘I’ is predicated on the self-ing of other ‘I’s’ who form the cyberother. The ‘I’ is constantly redefined as the ‘me’ in response to this interactional commentary. Offline self-ing is built on interrelated interactions that do not stand in isolation. In parallel fashion, blogging requires sequential interactions that inform each other, such that interactional flows result from contributions from both bloggers and audiences that are predicated on each other. This process of self-ing is the result of the collective construction of the cyber ‘I’ and ‘me’ with the cyberother.

In the beginning of internet privacy was main reason why users grew online trust in homepages and theirs representation. Initially, privacy polices seemed like a good idea. But in practice, they often leave a lot to be desired. In many cases, consumers don’t notice, read, or understand the privacy policies. Across contexts, entities involved in data management attempt to abide by notice policy by providing individuals with consent materials, typically in the form of privacy policies and terms of service policies. These policies appear on websites and inside applications on mobile devices, or have been sent through mail, provided in person, generally when an individual connects with entity in question for the first time, increasingly when policies change.

This brings us to the biggest lie on the internet which is known as “I agree to the terms and conditions.” The term anecdotally is chosen deliberately in this context as much of the evidence of the biggest lie, this point, comes in the form of anecdote. Ignoring privacy and TOS (terms of service) policies is both a reality and a problem. This fabric of legal responsibilities surrounds cyber-me and it can deliberate one from his freedom if “cyber-law” decides that cyber-persona has broken the rules of engagement with internet. Privacy of users lies in secrecy and internet as a public domain which doesn’t provide neither protects user by default leaves us all with no choice than to except the fact that everyone should re-claim themselves and opt-out from all sites and services because one day we could wake up in the world of opted-in slavery all because cyber-self didn’t read and wel understood Terms of service. This manufacturing and giving consent to our cyber-master rules blindly will cost us not just privacy, secrecy and freedom eventually.



Source: Privacy Online