The Ir-reversibility of Digital Life

We live in an age where our entire lives are laid out for anyone to examine — photos, thoughts, videos, minutia, our likes and dislikes, our embarrassing moments, quirks — and all of those threads are never going to be deleted.  Privacy, it seems, is a thing of the past, unless you work diligently to maintain it.

In Brandeis’s day — and until recently, in ours — you had to be a celebrity to be gossiped about in public: today all of us are learning to expect the scrutiny that used to be reserved for the famous and the infamous. A 26-year-old Manhattan woman told The New York Times that she was afraid of being tagged in online photos because it might reveal that she wears only two outfits when out on the town — a Lynyrd Skynyrd T-shirt or a basic black dress. “You have movie-star issues,” she said, “and you’re just a person.”

Which is just the tip of the iceberg.

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