Freedom To Another’s Thoughts


I like many people tend to blog on the Internet. Whether it is to vent about something that maybe happening in my life, express my opinion on something, or just share a thought that I might have had, I am guilty of using a blog to create these posts. After posting something on a blog, as many bloggers, including I know that once you publish a post it is displayed for internet users to see. Yes, the post is exposed to the internet but what are the chances that thousands of people are really going find your blog and read it? Maybe a few will see it; friends who know it exists and maybe some friends of theirs. A small group of people to read some of your thoughts, personal and not so personal, getting to know you a little better. But what if you knew that a post you have created has made you a tiny dot on a website created by someone who sits behind a computer and reads as many blogs as they can grabbing your thoughts and ideas to put on their page. Sound kind of creepy to you? Because it did to me.

After viewing Jonathan Harris and Sep Kamvar’s web page “We Feel Fine”, I will never be able to blog the same way again. The page consists of a humongous amount of tiny little dots, and a few squares, that are floating around on a black background space. When you put your mouse or cursor over one of the a dots or squares, an emotion is revealed next to it and a quote is displayed at the top of the page. What is this quote you might ask? It is a quote directly from someone’s personal blog. Whose? Well, that’s easy to find out. All you have to do is click on the quote and it links you right to the original blog page that it had been taken from.

To me this felt completely violating and honestly made me not really want to blog anymore. The fact that these two men just search and read so many people’s blogs that reveal their personal thoughts and things about them and then take direct quotes from them to use on their website. All of this without even being notified? I would really want to know if they pulled quotes and ideas from my blog but the fact is that there are so many dots, yours may be on there but you may never be able to find and there for never know. I also was unease about how the viewer could click on your quote and be brought to your blog page. My blog isn’t intended for millions of random strangers that visit this site, just the few that happen to find me through common interests and friends. I can promote my blog in the way that I want to without the help of Harris and Kamvar. Now before every blog post, I will think about what I write instead of just writing my initial thought with that creeping notion in the back of my head that just maybe somebody like Harris and Kamvar are watching.




2 responses »

  1. I had the exact same reaction to this website as you did. I remember talking about it in class and I said out loud that it was creepy. Anyone anywhere in the world can read what you have to say without you even knowing and vice versa. Some of the little dots are disturbing blog posts, and yeah we have the right to say whatever we want, but I don’t want to read it. The solution is simple, don’t go on the website. However I don’t want people to read what I have to say. I blogged this whole semester for class. Yeah I know that anyone can see it, but I never gave these guys permission to put it up on their website. I guess there is really nothing I can do about since these blogs were public and open to anyone, but you’re right it is just that queasy feeling you get that people around the world can read what you have to say. I don’t really like that, and I never really blogged, only for this class. So my solution would be not to blog anymore. But like you said instead of just blurting out anything, it’s always smart to think before you write anything on the internet.

  2. I totally understand where your coming from. Some websites, at least, have ways to help protect your privacy, even if they make those settings hard for you to find. But too many websites give you no way of having convenient privacy settings. Tumblr, for example, doesn’t let you hide your posts from specific people. You can either password protect your blog and have no one see it, or make it completely public; it’s a pain. Hopefully websites will begin to give us easier and more efficient privacy settings, because it’s super off-putting that anyone can access what we write.

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