Transparent or Opaque: a generation gap in progress

My new homepage, 2006 Apr 23
Originally uploaded by lyndon.

Over the weekend, I re-organized my homepage and briefly mulled over whether to incorporate a 30Boxes calendar badge. Was I comfortable with anyone being able to see my calendar? My little dilemma seemingly frames the new generation gap, between the young who eagerly live their personal lives transparently on the Web, and the old who cautiously debate what to make private or public.

The new applications categorized under the “Web 2.0” moniker cater to a willingness to be open about one’s opinions, travels, schedule and interests. The old, especially outside of software-focused fields, find these ‘digital life’ sharing applications of limited relevance, and even caution the young to beware of the consequences of public expression when seeking future employment.

But how carefully groomed and scripted should all of us be from the moment we exist on the Web? What should a prospective employer, customer, friend or romantic partner think of any person who surfaces nothing authentic from a Web search? Whom should we trust? In the Internet Age, the important choice facing all of us is not whether to be digital or analog, but whether to be transparent or opaque.

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2 Replies to “Transparent or Opaque: a generation gap in progress”

  1. Lyndon,

    You could use a tag (like “shared”) for events you are comfortable putting on your blog and then create a view for that tag that you can share. 🙂

  2. Hi Narendra. Thanks much for the 30boxes usage tip. Good to know I can approach it either with a ‘shared’ tag or by using the ‘private’ check box.

    I wasn’t thinking so much of any limitations with 30boxes calendar sharing (the features for control of this are awesome, imho), but rather of our evolving social norms. I’m generally sympathetic to ‘transparency’ (and was very impressed with Karl Popper’s writings on The Open Society).

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