“We want privacy, but we can’t stop sharing”

Here is a link to Lawrence Lessig’s video interview with Edward Snowden. It may become relevant to our discussions of privacy/lack of privacy and its potential chilling effects on digital creativity, expression, and even the process of gaining/accessing knowledge through the Internet as a medium.

A New York Times article entitled “We Want Privacy, But We Can’t Stop Sharing” also points out:

“So it’s not surprising that privacy research in both online and offline environments has shown that just the perception, let alone the reality, of being watched results in feelings of low self-esteem, depression and anxiety. Whether observed by a supervisor at work or Facebook friends, people are inclined to conform and demonstrate less individuality and creativity. Their performance of tasks suffers and they have elevated pulse rates and levels of stress hormones.

An analogy in the psychological literature is that privacy is like sleep. Just as being unconscious for a portion of the day is restorative, so is being unselfconscious. The arousal associated with being observed and the implicit judgment drain cognitive resources. We worry about how we are perceived, which inhibits our ability to explore our thoughts and feelings so we can develop as individuals.”


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