The success of facebook and the astronomical growth in its user base has brought with it, its fair share of criticism around its privacy and content ownership policies. I have been closely following the debates and developments and even keeping a tab on start-ups that claim to rival facebook on the same issues. Let me tell you honestly I feel the same pangs about privacy and concerns of content ownership. And I am quite positive people in my age group and older groups feel the same way as well. But the truth here is that it doesn’t matter what we think but what the younger users think and like, because the last i checked they are our future. And if I can make some bold predictions I would say that we wouldn’t be debating this as passionately many years from now, because the coming generation doesn’t give a shit about privacy or monetization for their IP. They will be intelligent enough to know how to adapt their lives around open networks. (Sorry I had to put it in the way they would). It’s probably something that will be relegated to government agencies to rally with networks but not because of outrage from the users but more from a perspective of protecting its citizens and keeping the peace.
Here are some of the reasons why I think the younger generation doesn’t really care
- They have grown up with Social networks and the world is their friend:
We have had the opportunity to have lived through two era’s – with and without open online networks, so we believe that there are benefits of privacy and we have it in us to keep questioning ourselves what is good for personal consumption and what is good for public. I believe this need doesn’t exist with the younger generation because for them the world is their canvass for self expression, which actually brings me to my second point.
- They won’t be as judgmental as us:
It’s not that we are a better lot than the ones growing up now but one of things that stop us from sharing stuff is the fear of what others may think of us. I find the younger generation is more forgiving and won’t think too much about how they are being perceived by people. It’s a bit of both with them – we don’t judge other people and we don’t care if others do.
- They rather learn to adapt and behave than withdraw from networks.
I hear many people from my age group that say they are cutting down on sharing stuff on social networks because they are concerned at various levels what all this open information does to them. But the young people I talk to say they won’t cut down their interaction or usage of networks but rather they will quickly learn the rules of the game. A very different approach to same issue.
Over the generations we have seen how societies have evolved on what is socially acceptable and what is not. This has dramatically changed over the years and will keep changing as long as technology and travel bring people closer. Openness, transparency, social acceptance, freedom of expression and cultural sensitivity is the future and hence open networks are in and privacy is out. I may be oversimplifying it a bit but let’s debate?