In this age of exhibitionism (…), Keen warns us for a different outcome than the cheerleaders of a social utopia (of the likes of Jarvis, Shirkey, Kelly) foresee. A world without privacy, a world we should just get used to, if we are to believe the owners of the social networks, is a maybe a much poorer world than the one we currently enjoy.
Keen’s book is about the question why we need privacy and solitude. Humans need that to be human, in household speak. Keen has many remarks that should make you think (twice): “I update therefor I am” (meaning that only being present in social media is the real proof that we exist); Personal visibility (in social media) as the new status symbol; Is it really socially unacceptable to dismiss social media networks? He is also worried about our eagerness to disclose our current location to the outside world. As a cartographer, I see a great opportunity to improve the map of the world, but I advise to do so very selectively.
Keen warns for social conformity and herd behavior. And he fears (with Stuart Mill) a tyranny of the majority. In Stuart Mill’s view, reacting to Bentham, what makes us unique is to be able to seclude ourselves from society, to be (on) our own when we want to, in order to think, and act, independently. Could that be the reason ‘why the open source model does not work for art, literature, movies and… revolutions?’
I very much agree that our future is not necessary 100% open and social, regardless of how much to social media networks want that to happen. Being one those monkey’s Keen refers to in his previous book, I have no option but to openly share this view and accept the risk of being seen as a victim of digital narcissism epidemic. Note: I actually ran into Andrew Keen at TheNextWeb and had to admit to him I had never read his books. “You should”, he said, and he was right. Will reread....Continua