Comrades, I’m writing this on the fly because I’ve been avoiding it, which means there is a high probability that I will come back and edit. There has been SO much going on in my life getting in the way of my writing (which is also my healing), that in the midst of all this crap, I’m just going to figuratively press pause, and hit you all with what has been pressing me for a while.
I have been really concerned by the issue of privacy, especially in the wake of higher-profile events such as the Mike Brown shooting and Janay Palmer’s physical altercation (I will not be going into said events during this post). Not only because of the spotlight that both of these instances have shone on the Black community, but because of the fact that barely anyone seems concerned by the egregious amounts of privacy invasion that has been going on in each case, and even more, about the implications that this lack of concern has on foundational concepts that aid in identity formation and stabilization such as autonomy, agency, and self-worth.
I mean, what happens when you die? No, not technically or physiologically, but what happens to your social media? What happens with the virtual you post-mortem? This article, along with a ton others venture into the technical logistics. However, what I want to focus on is the vast difference that might (and is likely to) manifest between the you that you project virtually on the regular, and the you that is ascertained through surveillance of the same virtual projection when you are dead and no longer able to moderate your virtual self. It might not matter to you because you’ll be dead, right? Well, what about the implications that misrepresentations have on your partner, family, community, business? Does thinking on these things change in any way how you will continue to project yourself virtually?
Now, what if you were involved in a higher-profile incident that catalyzed communities and directly shone a bright light on your life and those around you, and you had no agency in what was leaked to news and social media? The things that were leaked were such that implicated everyone close to you, and you had no autonomy, no voice, and was repeatedly devalued for your role in said leaked information, that before that moment, was private.
What is self-worth to the marginalized and subjugated in the land of the free, which was founded on white supremacist, heteronormative, capitalist, patriarchal values?
As a marginalized person, I find it difficult to even find any autonomy, agency, and especially any privacy in most of what I do, although it’s in part from that very marginalization that I can really critically understand things going on under the surface, in implicit bias land. Although I don’t think of it as a double-edged sword.
My point is, really weigh out the pros and cons of visibility. It’s not necessarily the best route to be transparent or even complicit in disclosure by virtue of being intelligible to hegemony (in the fight for our rights and equalities). Yes, the hegemonic beast wants to see you, in order to devour you and regurgitate more fuel for the status quo. Even when you think you are distorting the frequency, you might simply be playing right into the hegemonic flow.
I have a lot more to think through (obviously) here, but I just had to share some of the more general things that have been weighing me down. I see a few papers developing, I just need to find the time and space to get specific! Thanks for bearing with me!
Until Next Time,