Private over-sharing will improve your life


I have shared my life and my digital content online for many years now. Usually with family and friends, but increasingly more and more my information is shared publicly (Last.fm, Instagram & Strava are just a few examples). Naturally this increased open content sharing asks questions such as: is this information being stored safely? can people see where I am and stalk me? what could happen to my information in the future?


Privacy groups will often warn you against uploading your information and revealing your location. There are many risks to this and they are all obvious! Services online such as Facebook & Google+ encourage you to share more, because the volume of data is valuable and can help them know more about you. These arguments sit at the two extremes of the debate about content online.


I believe that there is a really important middle-ground to this argument which is not really being championed. You can and should record and store all of your information online but... only behind private closed settings. I have coined this technique as 'private over-sharing' as you are sharing more information than you currently think you should (e.g. photo of what you're eating, who needs to share that?), but you are sharing it only with yourself. Maybe this could have a better name!


By private over-sharing, you are effectively writing your own timeline and history. You are leaving a story which you can revisit later in your life, but the more detail the better. You could call it your digital story.


As services and applications get more powerful and interesting, I can see your digital story will be your most valuable asset as it will be a record of who you are and what you have achieved. Digital services will store infinitely more items than you could ever remember and your quality of life in the future may actually depend on it.


Let me give you a few examples of how my digital archive is already enriching and improving my life.
- I know my favourite artists and where I can see them next
- I see how far I cycle and how much energy I am using
- I share my photos directly with my family so they can see what i'm doing whenever they want


In the future I imagine services will to continue to make my life easier. As long as I keep my data safe, I now feel that I should be storing and recording as much as information as possible (without affecting my day-to-day life). This means i'm future-proofing myself for the array of services that are just around the corner...