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A Million Degrees of Non-Separation

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One shocking thing about the investigation—the Kansas students allegedly plotting a massacre at their high school on the site—is the claim by MySpace that it has 72 million members. A lot of people are living online.

As a blogger, I’m living online myself, and I find it very confusing. The computer is breaking down traditional borders of privacy, not just how we relate to one another out in the world, but in consciousness too, how we define our selves, and mark off the boundaries between self and non-self. As a blogger you are supposed to empty your thoughts out like a sock turned inside out. You’re doing the webcam thing, but instead of your bedroom it’s supposed to be your head, your life. I grew up with such different paradigms about privacy. But maybe they mean nothing. The web disdains reserve, appropriateness, formality. It is changing the definition of intimacy. Intimacy: what you tell your 72 million closest friends.

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