Further to Charlie Brooker’s recent article in The Guardian on the obsession with sharing every detail of your life online, and particularly with reference to the way that, unless you make the very deliberate act to turn off the feature, Spotify shares every single song you listen to you with your friends and followers on Facebook.
When Sony launched the Walkman back in the late 70s, its main appeal was that for the first time in history you could stroll down the high street listening to Neil Diamond belting out Sweet Caroline and no one could judge you for it. It made you the master of a private world of music. If the Walkman had, by default, silently contacted your friends and told them what you were listening to, not only would no one have bought a Walkman in the first place, its designers would have been viewed with the utmost suspicion.
I love this analogy. Not that I don’t dislike loving. I love sharing, but I also see the difference between given the opportunity to easily share something and having some autonomous computer decide before me. If I read, or watch something, or do something online that might be of interest to other people, I like the fact that websites are getting more joined up and can give you the opportunity to share it with all or specific networks that I may be part of. But the good websites will provide me with some suggested text which I can edit and taylor as I see fit, and choose which networks I am going to share it on, or choose not to share it.