Monday, March 8, 2010

House Looks at Bloggers and Privacy

I watched House tonight on Fox. It's one of my favorite shows. Tonight in the episode "Private Lives," Dr. Gregory House took on a blogger's strange illness, and his team members discussed the Internet and privacy.

The character Dr. Chris Taub (Peter Jacobson) said that privacy is a relatively new concept, and added that people used to live in small villages where it was impossible to keep secrets. Later he said that a lack of privacy has its benefits, such as the the individual has a community with which to share problems and get support. He also asserted that people left to themselves tend to make stupid decisions.

Naturally, I researched what he said. It's a thing I do sometimes, check the truth behind assertions made in fictional television programs. For instance, I've written several pieces on the truth behind Lie to Me.

Plus, a light went off in my brain. What he said sounded correct, and the opinion represented in his lines is indeed based on fact. For instance, the Puritans considered it a civic duty to spy on one's neighbors. According to the privacy timeline at Scientific American, "In many towns people (were) forbidden to live alone." You may view the timeline here.

Privacy and whether we can maintain it in our Internet/social media culture is a topic constantly rehashed. For example, Melissa Ford writing at posted last week, "Please Rob Me and How the Internet Affects Privacy." Her post discusses in part how some home insurance premiums may increase because personal information is available to strangers on places like Twitter and Facebook.

You can watch full episodes of House at Fox and also follow the show on Twitter. It's probably smart for TV dramas and comedies to do shows featuring bloggers or blogging sometimes because some blogger somewhere will talk about it.

The photo in this post comes from with the caption, "House and the team take on the case of Frankie (guest star Laura Prepon, R), an avid blogger who solicits the advice of her followers as she updates them on her condition from her hospital bed."


Anonymous said...

Here in PR, it's all small town, it's almost like living in a fishbowl. Sometimes you meet up with people that you barely met one time and they know all about your life,and I mean ALL!
But, it is kinda comforting to know that all the neighbors are there if you need them. It's kinda like a net of support, although some privacy is sacrificed, in the long run, it's a good feeling to be connected to others in that manner.

msladydeborah said...

I am glad that I wasn't born during the time when people were forbidden to live alone. I am an only child and I feel very okay without having anyone else in my spsce.

I think that this is a medium where common sense often goes by the wayside. I have often been amazed with how much information people are willing to share with strangers. I am pretty private in my personal life and I find that the tendency often carries over on line.

Megan Anne said...

@Msladydeborah YES! I was just about to say that as an only child, I am just fine living alone. Actually, I revel in it. My cat is all I need.

I'm a lot more open/transparent now that I'm blogging, but I still don't get too personal. People think that I'm all out there with my info, but there are some things that I just won't share.