Trade of the internet-privacy for agency

How do we gain agency in a world that seems to take joy in making more rules and taking away more personal freedom in the name of communal freedoms?  What would our world look like right now without the internet?  What has gotten better because of the internet?  Have we lost more or gained more agency?

Take this case of racial profiling in NYC.  Using ‘250’s, the NYPD stop random persons under ‘suspicion’ and frisk them, filing a report whether anything came of it or not.  They have quotas to make on these and are subject to negative action if they do not submit.

Yes, things are changing now.  But why?  Because of the agency the internet provides us, that social media provides us.  UpWorthy is one such site that includes amazing stories that make a difference, exposing love, hate, law, injustice, passion, hilarity and more.

Yes indeed, we lose some agency on the internet- we lose privacy to be involved… but we gain a world of agency at our fingertips… if we have the internet and are willing to use it for better, we can make a difference, we can have a voice and give that voice to the voiceless. 

For more on this trade off and how to manage it, read NetSmart, How to Thrive Online, Howard Rheingold, 2012.


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