My Attempts at Compartmentalization Have Succeeded

My friend Geof Morris has posted/tweeted/linked/etc. about several things lately that have really made me think. He keeps writing about things that center around personal privacy, our public personas, what we choose to present to others about ourselves and how.

I’ve been compelled to think about it a lot, partly because I find it interesting the ways in which I don’t quite agree with his opinions, and then the ways in which I do. Today’s grist for the mill came from the latest method that Facebook is trying to manipulate their users’ information to their own benefit… in ways which aren’t necessarily compatible with a user’s desire to keep control of that information.

Incidentally, I’m not quite ready to use the nuclear option that Geof has chosen, but I’m close. I have some fundamental disagreements with what is apparently the attitude of Facebook about my information and what they should do before they make decisions about how it’s used.

Geof linked to a page on another blog which has a quote that hasn’t let go of me… mostly because I feel so differently about it than the author. Taking a tiny liberty with his exact words, he says, “My attempts at compartmentalization have failed. There is only one inbox… There is only one outbox.”

That really has stuck with me. The author seems to be saying that it is ultimately futile to try to present more than one “version” of oneself to the world. I was struck not so much because I sympathized with him, but because of how strongly I disagreed. I am rather good at compartmentalization. It’s pretty much second-nature to me at this point. I admit that I’m probably much too cautious. I almost certainly underestimate the ability of people to deal with slices of me that I choose not to share. On the other hand, there are things that people just don’t need to know. There are things that people just don’t want to know.

I wonder if this is an introvert/extravert thing. Do introverts often struggle with not sharing enough? Do extraverts often struggle with sharing too much?

Ah, late night ramblings… 🙂

2 replies on “My Attempts at Compartmentalization Have Succeeded”

Rather than compartmentalize, I just leave certain bits of myself off the internet entirely. Once it’s out there, I just assume the whole damn world has access to it, security settings notwithstanding.


I have not yet developed enough trust for the tools which would allow me to post sensitive stuff for only some people to see. If the restriction mechanisms are easy enough to deal with that normal people will jump through the hoops, then undesired access is probably not very hard. So, my policy for information placed on the net is much like yours.

No, sadly, the compartmentalization I refer to is actually very much in real-life. 🙂

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