Is increased data collection and information sharing improve or damage 21st-century life?

In last week of our course Understanding Media by Understanding Google we have to answer question similar to mentioned above. Here is my take on that:-

We love convenience !! We are always willing to pay something extra for it. The payment we make may, not be the direct one. Lets say you want to have pizza at home on a rainy day and you following options :-

  1. Cook yourself
  2. You like pizza from shop A but it does not do home delivery
  3. Order a pizza from the shop B,  which provides OK kind of pizza but do free home delivery.

For simplicity lets assume cost of each of the above option is same. Given the above choices most of us, including myself going to opt of the 3rd options because :-

  • We’ll get pizza at home without doing addtional work.
  • No need to take a break from on-going activity like watching football/baseball etc to cook or drive to the shop.
  • No need to pay extra money.

By ordering pizza from shop B, we are compromising the on the quality and bit on our taste. This is an indirect price we are paying for the convenience. On the internet lets try to compare this indirect price with :-

  • Increased data collection and sharing by internet giants.
  • decrease in anonymity.
  • loss of personal touch with friends, relatives.

In 21st Century, due to high demanding work, traffic, choices etc; I think it is worth paying some indirect price for the convenience we are getting. We save time, money which are two of the most important things which improve life in 21st Century. As mentioned by Jeff Jarvis in Economist Debate on Social Networking  “We are sharing for good reason—not because we are insane, exhibitionistic, or drunk. We are sharing because, at last, we can, and we find benefit in it.”

Until we are just paying limited indirect price we would be able to make perfect balance in our public and private life. The problem starts when we become greedy and start ordering pizzas from some low standard shops which charges less money and deliver at home. This would eventually kill our taste and we would forget the original joy of having the pizza. Similar thing applies on what we share on the internet. We just  be careful on what we share !!.

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