Last weekend I went to an art exhibition called Privat – one that looks into how we are losing privacy in this new technological era. It was a totally spontaneous visit with a friend but I had wanted to go to see this ever since I saw the very eye catching poster (above).
It starts off with scenes from family home movies and handwritten diaries, and goes on a journey right through to a massive wall filled with tiny moving squares of porn. It was really amazing, and I really did enjoy it, but for me it didn’t really go as deep, or reflect on my experience on the net enough. I wanted it to make me really think about what I post on the net – and as I’m not in any porn, and I’ve not been in any weird Swedish youtube soap drama (it was weird… I didn’t get that part) so none of the collections really touched home for me.
Recently, I’ve been close to a few people who really control what they put out online. One such friend restricts their facebook so that nothing aside from a few photos from 5 years ago are visible. Another person refuses to put personal data on there so that companies can’t collect that data. I am pretty much an open book and I wonder if that is a bad thing…
My first experience of the internet was on a school trip to a gadget show in London when I was about 14. Somehow I had managed to get into the “16+ area” and found myself at a computer playing the first version of Habbo Hotel. My mind was blown. I made a little character who looked like me, and was walking round as if in a computer game, talking to people in different areas of the room! When I finally got a computer a few years later, I was one of those teenagers who should have had more restrictions since I was chatting to boys way older than myself, sending them my mobile number and chatting with them. It could have gone so wrong, but I just felt it normal to do this.
Today, of course, I am not so bad. After a really nasty net stalker last year, I started watching what I say online – like, I wouldn’t do a geotag on anything, or at least not to show that I am out of the house. I cut down my Facebook friends list often, because I spend half my life going to some party or event, chatting with someone for an hour, adding them on facebook then never speaking to them again. All these strangers can see my non-stop facebook diarrhea.
I like to share random personal info – I like to be myself, even online. A friend saw my OK Cupid profile and said that it was a perfect representation of who I am. I’d like to think that people could see my facebook wall or blog or twitter and think the same thing. However, a guy I was speaking to online found my blog after just knowing my first name and job. I don’t know if this is a good thing or a bad thing – good because it means my blog is easily found. But bad because it means that people can easily find “Sherbet” with only knowing a little bit about “Charlotte”.
As I said, the exhibition was good, but not really thought provoking enough for me. I want to question my online visibility more, but it’s hard when it’s the norm to post videos of your baby on Youtube for your millions of viewers, or to broadcast your thoughts when you’re feeling emo to all your Facebook friends.
If you are in Frankfurt, checkout the Privat exhibition (7 euros entry) -
Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt
Römerberg, D-60311 Frankfurt
Hours: Tue, Fri–Sun 10–7pm,
Info in English (also photo credit)