Pop-Psychology and Privacy

Posted on June 16, 2011 in Blog, Privacy / Reputation, Social networking | 0 comments

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, a popular tool for many pop-psych discussions, also provides a useful framework for discussing privacy. The privacy concerns that I described in my previous post can be mapped to Maslow’s Hierarchy as:

  • Will I be harmed? => Safety
  • Will my property be damaged or taken? => Safety
  • Will others think bad of me? => Esteem
  • Will I be bothered by people trying to sell me stuff? => Self Actualization

Let’s think about that last one. Is Self Actualization a useful label for my concern about being bothered? I do think that being bothered takes my attention and resources away from my prime task of being the best “Dwight Irving” that I can be.

It‘s interesting that there is no privacy concern in my list that can be related to the levels of Physiological, Love and Belonging, or Self-Transcendence. Given those gaps, I wonder if I’m missing something. Should “Publicy” and “Publicness” (see Stowe Boyd and Jeff Jarvis ) be considered as the privacy concepts that come in at the Self-Transcendence level? Some think so. Even if Publicness and Publicy should be the goals of my quest for enlightenment, I’d rather make that decision myself by controlling the release of my data, than to let others grab my data and make the decision for me.