Naked truth

17 Aug

The nudity metaphor is well-established in writing about social media (eg Naked Conversations). But it's never been more apposite than in Jeff Jarvis's decision to reveal that he has been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

In The Guadian today he nimbly moves the discussion on from problems of privacy to the benefits of openness:

But I think we need to shift the discussion in this era of openness from the dangers to privacy to the benefits of publicness… By revealing my cancer, I realise benefits, and so can society: if one man's story motivates just one more who has the disease to get tested and discover it, then it is worth the price of embarrassment. If many people who have a condition can now share information about their lifestyles and experience, then perhaps the sum of their data can add up to new medical knowledge. I predict a day when to keep such information private will be seen by society as being selfish.

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