[Air-L] Inside, Outside, Upside, Down - Privacy and Public presence in the Internet age

Alex Randall arandal at uvi.edu
Thu May 6 11:04:15 PDT 2010

I am working on a paper on the transformation of private and public
presence in the Internet Age. 
This began with the observation that a Kindle shows no BOOK COVER and
what was previously a public statement of what you are reading is not
private. (Read a magazine on a subway and someone may come up to you and
ask how you like a certain article - the cover is a public statement of
your reading choice.)  

Old fashioned mail - like Love letters - gave historians a paper trail
to track the inner lives of people, which, indirectly took something
very private and made it public. On the other hand, IM love notes,
disappear from view after being read - making them more private that old
mail in envelopes. Something public has become private. 

I am seeking other examples of communication in the Internet Age that is
taking something essentially public and making it private. 

The cases of things that are private being made public abound, but the
other side of the equation is fascinating. Despite all the talk of the
loss of privacy, the fact remains that the internet age has made private
many formerly public messages. 

Anyone have other suggestions of examples of public content going

Alexander Randall
Professor of Communication 
University  of the Virgin Islands 

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