News Brendan O’Connor

Sunday 19 February 2017

Sometimes it's better not to share, especially not with the whole world

At the risk of being regarded as a weird object of suspicion, Brendan O'Connor wants a private life

Published 23/03/2014 | 02:30

OUT IN THE OPEN: For the younger generation, life online and in public is the norm — it’s where their friends are, where they socialise, and where they seek validation
OUT IN THE OPEN: For the younger generation, life online and in public is the norm — it’s where their friends are, where they socialise, and where they seek validation

This is my secret internet shame. Sometimes, maybe through an email or something, I get directed on to a friend's Twitter account.

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And I have a little look. I'm not on Twitter myself so I haven't been drip-fed anyone's Twitter persona, allowing me to get used to it over time. Instead, I take it all in one chunk. Sometimes I can be there for an hour or more, going back through people's Twitter lives, fascinated and sometimes slightly appalled. Obviously it feels a bit grubby. Like spying on them or something.

But then I remind myself that these people put this out there, for public consumption, so it's not as if I'm reading their diary. And I remind myself I actually know this person better than most of the people who are reading this stuff, so if anyone is entitled to read it, I am. And anyone is entitled to read it. It's an open book.

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