A friend of mine is dabbling in OSINT and has come away thinking that putting personal information online is a foolish thing to do.
I mostly disagree, and here’s why.
When you ask old and dying humans what they regret, the answers are remarkably similar.
- They wish they had told people that they care about them
- They wish that they did what they wanted to do instead of what others wanted them to do
- They wish they didn’t work so much
In a world obsessed with personal privacy, I can see “Cared too much about being invisible” being added to the list.
My problem is that I feel personal production of value and being invisible online are mutually destructive.
If you want to be an artist, or a business leader, or a writer, or a philosopher, or a…whatever—you have to put yourself out there.
You write books. You paint paintings. You open a restaurant.
And in doing so you are actively trying to make a blip on the collective radar, which is the opposite of trying to stay off everyone’s radar.
My personal choice, and I would argue the superior choice for a meaningful life, is to err on the side of productivity.
It’s true that the pain of weak personal privacy will be more acute if experienced than the quiet death of mediocrity, but I’d rather experience the former than the latter.
I’m reminded of one of my favorite quotes:
To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.
I choose to be something. Or at leas to try.
And if that means I get harassed or criticized or need to raise my security in some fashion, then so be it.
Life is too precious and temporary not to put yourself out there, and I think it does a disservice to the miracle of our existence to spend our time on earth hiding.