Privacy as the Price

2004 is a wonderful year for people, that Mark Zuckerberg launched a website where you can find photos of everyone you know: the Facebook. People are so excited that they can finally peek into other’s world. A facebook “friend” might have seen pictures of you more than your classmates have seen. When you signing up for a certain program, you know that you are selling something to it. But in return, you will find that the Internet will give back more things to you and you are not paying cash. From my perspective, the benefits of modern technology definitely outweigh the disadvantage of losing control of our private information.

First of all, modern technology provides people more opportunities. Modern technologies can help people apply for schools, get jobs, and deal real estate issues. Link In is a website many United States residents use to find jobs. After you put all your information including previous employment experiences, salary expectations, gender, name, e-mail, etc. online, individuals and companies will contact you with plenty of offers. Also, people can now apply for colleges or graduate schools via the internet. All the things applicants have to do are send their essays and materials out with so many privacies that their friends might not even know. After that, they will be home waiting for colleges to tell them whether he/she is the one they are looking for or not. Moreover, people can sell, rent or buy items from clothes to houses online. The phone number you left on Ebay, home address you put online for others to rent, and e-mail address, names, etc. are all privacies that many old people see as the most precious things. However, people can’t make a deal without those information. According to media theorist Douglas Ruskoff, “If the product is free, you’re not the customer; you’re the product being sold.” (Alex, 2004) To conclude, the internet provides so many convenience and opportunities for people who are willing to sell their privacies.

However, on safety level, to protect our privacy is a very important thing. If you are afraid of people hacking into your computer, people follow to your apartments, or people track your online surfing histories, it is very important to protect yourself from the Internet world. There are examples that companies lose billions a day because of e-mail stolen and other scary examples. In this case, I am going to give an example which happened to my mother. That day when I got home, I saw my mother crying and screaming. I was so frightened and asked what is going on. She said she received a call from a person who claimed to be my teacher saying I am in the hospital and she has to transfer 10,000 rmb to a certain account. At the time my mother believed it and was about to make the transfer, I got home. We were wondering where that man could possibly get my personal information, and a possible reason is that I posted a twitter saying my phone died and left my home number for emergency. As a result, expose your own personal information online is extremely dangerous which might lead to many troubles.

However, with the currency of privacies, we can get many other things we desire via modern technology. People can find classmates who attend the same class online, people can find your emigrated middle school best friend online, and people can find the other half they are interested in online. First of all, people can make more friends by posting personal information online. Step 1, you have to set up a Facebook (or other social medias) account with your own information so that you can look for people you are interested in. For example, on the first day of school, a boy crushed a girl, but the boy had no idea what kind of person the girl is. What should he do? The first thing he came up in mind is to search the girl’s Facebook, on which the girl has posted her own pictures and shared links she is interested into. Next time they meet, the boy would know how to start a conversation to catch the girl’s attention and interest because he already knew something about the girl. The internet is a good place to find personal information and it helped people to develop relationships as well. When you can make more friends, who care about paying a little privacy? Friendships are relationships which are based on privacy, and emotion sharing. There are also other cases that people get famous and popular by sharing their personal life. For example, Justin Bieber, who was suddenly all over YouTube and has developed to a superstar. He started his career by posting his own singing videos on YouTube, and he succeeds. There are also many people who become famous like fashion bloggers, and those stylists on Instagram. People can find most of the things they desire on the Internet, as long as they are willing to “sell” their privacies.

To conclude, if people are afraid to trade their privacy with the massive opportunities online, they will end up getting nothing compared to others. People also get other rewards for their braveness. From my perspective, I think the benefits of modern technology outweigh the disadvantage of losing control of our privacies, because our privacies are meanwhile, our opportunities.