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Choosing our personal transparency

Having quite a large contact group on my MSN Messenger and on the newly developed Gmail chat has allowed effective communication on the one hand, but on the other often reveals or breaks the borders of privacy.

After a chat with youngblood about this issue, I have become aware of the following.

Ones ‘status’ on these chat lines are set to a general personal status, where as a contact group can check if you are -busy-, -away-, -on the phone- or -out to lunch-. This information creates some transparency to ones personal life and I have become alert that I often need to define my status in order to justify my privacy – or vice versa.
And since recently, when Gmail users want to check their email, they’ll have to define their online status firstly in order not to be disturbed whilst checking their email.

These chat lines often do provide for very effective and easy communication (hence the reason I am using them), yet I think it is important to be aware how much these forums make our lives transparent and it becomes difficult to be in the online world without being discovered or allowing people to know if you’re -on the phone-, -busy- or -out to lunch-….maybe I should -appear offline- more often?


  1. Blogger SA Knock News | Sunday, February 26, 2006 3:42:00 pm |  

    I agree with you perfectly. I think that you can actually take it a step further in to the past: cellphones took away privacy completely, you can get in touch with people anywhere anytime regardless of the situation... i think its a matter of personal discretion. when you dont want to be seen or heard then its up to you to turn yourself off.