The Dissemination of Thought

Just because it's in print doesn't mean it's intelligent…

Why your privacy will be replaced with t-shirts and belt buckles

with 16 comments

It’s about time I pulled my finger out and wrote another guest piece for Magnificent Nose. This post looks at privacy, and how we aren’t helping ourselves by sharing every aspect of our lives publicly, either via social networking or by failing to adjust our volume knobs when we’re out and about.

"So, it's definitely herpes? Can you speak up? Yes, I'm on the bus right now." Source of original photograph:

Here’s a snippet from Magnificent Nose:

Social networking has conditioned us to share absolutely everything about our lives; it’s as if we’ve adopted a policy of “if it’s happening, it’s worth announcing”. We’re so absorbed in our own self-importance that it doesn’t occur to us the people at the adjacent table have no interest in being subjected to a vivid description of our rash and the doctor’s prognosis. We don’t seem to care when there is a privacy breach because of our own lax stupidity, but if someone found out about our rash because of loose lips at the medical centre, we’d be livid. Isn’t that just the slightest bit hypocritical?

To continue reading “There’s nothing private about full disclosure couture”, you should point your cursor here and click the left mouse button.

See, the t-shirt idea works. Now you can cross diseases off the list of things that may be wrong with him. Source:

Since “There’s nothing private about full disclosure couture” is a thinly-veiled jab at social networking, it would be remiss of me not to use it as a hypocritical segue to plug The Dissemination of Thought Facebook page. Magnificent Nose also has a holiday house in Zuckerbergland, and you can find it by clicking right here.

16 Responses

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  1. I’m so relieved to know that guy doesn’t have stomach cancer! I’m glad he understands the need for vitamin A


    February 24, 2012 at 16:11

    • Full disclosure couture is the way to go, because it will make those awkward health-related questions redundant.

      Thank you for your comment, and welcome to The Dissemination of Thought.


      February 24, 2012 at 19:52

  2. Does that include blogs that share the daily workings of an individual’s life?

    I don’t know what I would do if I couldn’t read what strangers had for breakfast.

    Casey Marriott

    February 24, 2012 at 19:46

    • We can get you a hoodie that says “I have an unhealthy compulsion to know how strangers start their day”. If you like, I’ll also include an “I read TDoT so I must have deep issues” beanie.


      February 24, 2012 at 20:05

      • maybe it could turn into a social experiment…
        I’ll wear a jumper with ‘please, go ahead, tell me all about your day’.
        I’m sure everyone will jump online to write about it.

        I’ll wear the beanie to promote your blog, if you like. Does it come in different colours?

        Casey Marriott

        February 24, 2012 at 20:19

      • I’ve got five beanies in varying shades of blue. Two smell like urine, and one has a stain of indeterminable origin on it.


        February 24, 2012 at 21:49

  3. Why do you have not one but two beanies that smell like urine?
    Ur-in-trouble! Sorry I couldn’t help but use the pun.

    Adrienne schmadrienne

    February 25, 2012 at 00:50

  4. What about people who write posts and share photos of their many, many cats? Does that count as sharing too much?

    Because I really enjoy those. Especially when they list out all of their cats names and defining features. Those are the things that make my day worthwhile.

    PCC Advantage

    February 25, 2012 at 05:42

  5. I dont update my facebook status every time I cross a street but I do have a blog that tells the world of possible encounters with perverts and drug-dealers on said street. Where do you draw this line anyway?

    By the way, thank you for telling us of your now not-so-secret nasty infection. Now we can all wish you well and hope you are feeling better. Although, I’m pretty sure that even if you wrote a post about mucus, I’d still read it out of sympathy.

    • The way I see it, blogging about encounters with perverts, drug dealers and wildly eccentric people is nothing more than hysterically entertaining.

      You have my word there will never be a post about mucus on this blog.


      February 25, 2012 at 13:24

  6. Hypocrisy indeed, given wasn’t it not a week to two ago, you had decided on sharing with the world your dating disasters (which earned you recognition on WordPress’ Freshly pressed)? Not too much sooner after that how you loathe the social networking environment and how it had turned your responses to friends, family and colleagues into something you could find in a Hallmark Card?

    While I can certainly understand the plights you are pointing out here by referencing Magnificent Nose and your acerbic jab, I feel the need to ask, “what solutions would you suggest?” Complete privacy by going offline? Living a life that doesn’t involve Twitter, Facebook, etc? Or perhaps something more subtle? Like sharing more carefully?

    Come come… It’s easy to point out the problems, but takes work to suggest solutions.


    February 25, 2012 at 07:35

    • Acerbic jab? Hardly. The Magnificent Nose piece was neither vitriolic or trenchant. If anything, it was a PG-13 questioning of society.

      The post that got Freshly Pressed was actually “5 things I’ve learnt about cooking: the calamitous kitchen confessions of a single guy”.

      My pieces on dating disasters and social networking philosophy didn’t breach my privacy; they are subjects I’m quite happy to discuss with anyone who can tolerate being in the same room as me for more than 5 minutes. These things that happen in life amuse me; I don’t classify them as private, hence sharing them via this blog. What I won’t do is broadcast to the world things I do deem part of my private life, be it via social networking, or by asking the chemist at the top of my voice how long a rash should take to clear up.

      “Or perhaps something more subtle? Like sharing more carefully?”

      Bingo. We need to take stock of what we are sharing. I love social networking, but certain aspects – including how it’s changing the way we communicate – disconcert me somewhat.

      “…It’s easy to point out the problems, but takes work to suggest solutions.”

      I think you have already suggested a more than adequate solution in the sentence that precedes this one.

      Thank you for adding your thoughts to the discussion, and welcome back to The Dissemination of Thought.


      February 25, 2012 at 13:45

  7. For some reason, announcing medical ailments doesn’t bother me as much as family problems and disagreements. I know these people probably think their problems are riveting, but your “baby daddy” drama really isn’t the highlight of my Facebook surfing session. Also, repeated abuse of this idea will probably get you blocked.

    On the other hand, if sharing your personal details entertains people, what’s the harm? Isn’t that how blogging got started? Someone had an interesting opinion based on personal experience and decided it was worth sharing. So how do we draw the line? And who gets to draw it?

    My straight lines are atrocious, so that rules me out.


    February 25, 2012 at 16:23

    • I’m not sure either, but people definitely need to be more circumspect about what information they share with the world. As I said in my previous comment, I think mbaldelli (commented 25 February @ 07:35) summed it up nicely by suggesting that one option was “sharing more carefully”.

      Welcome to The Dissemination of Thought, where there is yet to be a single “baby daddy” drama.


      March 4, 2012 at 20:49

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