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I’ve spent my career so far studying the social outcomes people derive from their use of new communication systems like Facebook. These sites contain numerous affordances that differentiate them from other forms of communication & create low-cost environments for things like relationship maintenance and exchange of resources. I have found this research to be extremely rewarding, as it is important to understand how these social systems extend our capabilities for human interaction, beyond the more traditional forms of communication we have relied on previously.
But, there's a flip side to this story. Humans, by nature, are very social beings and want to interact, want to disclose information and share it with others. Social network sites and their like facilitate this through a variety of features. However, as individuals have moved their communication from offline spaces, where the interactions tend to be much more ephemeral and audiences are generally known, to online spaces, where the lines between public and private become much more blurred, I believe that thoughts of privacy of personal information are often lost in the novelty of the technologies. Now, as we begin to think about this issue more and more, I believe it’s time to step back and re-evaluate how we conceptualize our privacy in this highly networked world and to integrate that understanding into solutions that will help individuals become more savvy users of the technology.