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You Can’t Hide from the Internet

In a world that seems to get smaller every day, how do you remain anonymous? How do you keep the things you want to yourself while still sharing your personal thoughts and information with the people you want to.

This is a question that we ask ourselves every day now, but I’m not convinced it’s the best way to approach the issue.

Everyone has a certain desire for privacy, but as the Internet grows and the services we use become more intelligent and targeted, true privacy becomes more and more eroded. In many ways, the Internet is becoming the greatest truth serum ever invented. Interrogators world-wide have spent years trying to find the concoction that will force their captors to spill the beans, but soon they’ll have to search no longer.

Today’s reality is that what you do in “real life” is now readily accessible on the web and how you behave on the Internet directly reflects on how people view you in real life. There is no separation of the two; they are one in the same.

I see this as a good thing, and choose to embrace it rather than hide from it.

If I make the decision to attend an event, I make it knowing that anyone with web access will know that I was there if they want to. When I pose for a picture with friends, I think about how it will be tagged on Facebook the next day. If I say something at a coffee shop or at a meet-up with Riskology.co readers, I think about how it will look if it’s quoted in a tweet.

That doesn’t mean I’m constantly in fear that I’ll say or do something wrong and find the whole world laughing or shouting at me, it just means that making decisions now carry that weight and I’m okay with it.

In many ways, this makes my life a lot easier. I don’t even consider the idea of putting on a front anymore because it’s so easy to see through. By committing to “just be Tyler” every minute of every day, I can do whatever I like, stress free, because the world expects nothing different from me and I have nothing to hide from it.

Websites like WikiLeaks are here to stay, and the whole world just got a lot more honest and transparent, whether it wanted to or not. Rather than hide from the change or try to fight it, why not embrace it instead? Why not allow your true self to shine through in every action you take?

Trying to hide from the real you is exhausting and, if history is any indication, an exercise in futility.

Welcome to the new, honest, and open world of the Internet. You might not be here by choice, yet here you are anyway. Why not introduce yourself?

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Photo by: HASTAC.org