The idea of privacy is very interesting. Before humans could communicate there was essentially total privacy of one’s internal thoughts and feelings. As we learned to share more and more we ended up helping the social group advance because information could be utilized by more than one person.
For instance, consider the laugh. Scientists are not yet sure what exactly the origin of the laugh is, but we are getting closer. One idea it that it is a release valve for internal conflict. The humor of a pun comes from a word being used in multiple ways. This laughter shares information with the group that there was conflict but everything turned out well.
Privacy is disappearing in our civilization. We used to not know the daily goings-on of our friends, but with Facebook and Twitter these boundaries are falling. It seems humans have an innate desire to share the human experience with others.
In the future it is likely that less and less will be private. Our conversations on the Web are already recorded indefinitely and pictures and movies can capture the real world forever. It does not seem that the ape known as Man wishes to keep much private.
I tend to believe that one shouldn’t try to fight human nature, rather it should be directed in a positive way. People seem to love to share their life experience, with all the myriad, mundane details. If they want to share there is no reason to feel bad about sharing.
There is one case where it is especially wise to make an effort to keep things private. As mentioned, things on the Internet often become accessible for the rest of time. If people are not aware that this is a case they should be educated. They need to consider that anything put online is published, and once published, it cannot easily be retracted.
Overall the walls of privacy are falling like stones from the sky. In general there is much to be gained from this on a societal level. We learn from each other as we share more. However, when it comes to embarrassing secrets and personal details, it is often wise to keep this off the Web. That way it doesn’t come back to haunt you. Privacy still has a place.