“Can I call You?” That used to be the line, right? Will you give me the seven or ten digits that define the way to get in touch with you. But no one says that anymore.
Then it was “Can I have your email address?” But only your office or company email address because the free email addresses had no value.
Then it was which email address will you give me: your company email, your personal domain email, or a free (but not valueless) email.
Somehow the tide has turned away from the quick and easy access. Somehow the cultural shift has begun. I noticed this in my kids’ school directory. I bet every single family, if not each parent, has at least one email address, however, there is roughly one email address for each five to ten kids. The parents don’t want other parents and kids (the recipients of the school directory) to have their email address. I noticed a couple of techy parents I know didn’t list any email address.
The people I know I can now divide into two groups: the ones who want to connect and those who don’t. By connect, I mean be available in an online, social network, give-me-your-email-address, whats-your-twitter-handle, kind of way. They are not hiding what they do or say. You can like them or not but you do get to know them. And then there are the people that are either Internet voyeurs or mutes by choice. They don’t want to be known. They are private.
I get the privacy thing. I’m not immune to the worries about weirdos. But I feel like people are making a deeper choice, if they have made one at all. A choice that says generally people are good, interesting, and of value. Or that people are bad, run-for-the-hills, keep the gun behind the door, shoot first ask questions later, folks. The world can be a scary place but are you socially optimistic or socially pessimistic?
I used to be a pessimist. One or two might say I still am. But I’m working on it.