If there is one thing that drives me crazy it's secrets. I feel they're a great way to ruin friendships and create bad relationships, and I'm not talking strictly dating. If there is one thing you can learn from the internet it's transparency. Transparency is my internet value of late 2004/early 2005 that I practiced. I attempted and continue to to lay my life out there for others to observe, not worrying about hiding anything. I didn't feel I have anything to hide. The experiment went over real well, people were able to stay in touch with me and I was able to avoid repeating myself over and over. I didn't break into personal details ever, I didn't feel I had to in order to keep people in touch with what is going on. I was able to get my feelings out there, without violating the privacy of my friends nor violating what I felt I need as privacy.
My NDA theme of a previous post
was not designed to be a secret, more a pause to insure the truth would make it to the internet instead of assumed fact. If you're curious about what I'm really going to announce shoot me an email, call me, or talk to me in person, I don't intend for it to be a secret.
But back to my point....
I've been with too many people lately that have made me feel like I'm in middle school again. A lot of blatant "I have a secret and I'm not telling you" kind of statements. People, being a few of my friends, that I feel I'm open with it, that I know I'm open with. When I find out later what it is, I wonder why they're keeping the secrets, it's nothing to be secret about. I guess I don't understand the need. Perhaps it's my style of thinking and addiction to information, darn the internet for instilling demand for instant information gratifaction. The not knowing factor makes me feel distant from the person and I question my friendship because of the secrecy. There is a feeling of security I get when I know what my friends are up to, how they feel about things, and what's new in their lives. I don't want/demand total disclosure because they have a right to privacy, but they should not flaunt that they're not telling me something.
Blogs such as Dave Winer's Scripting News
are great examples of transparency. I get Dave Winer's thoughts and opinions without a feeling that he's holding back secrets. I know a lot about Dave without having to have him expose anything personal, it's that kind of transparency that I value. Many others do display a level of transparency, but Dave I feel does it best consistently.
I'll attempt to define transparency as intelligent honesty. Transparency is a way of giving constructive feedback, logical disclosure, and your honest opinion. You don't have to share when you went to the bathroom, that you're mad at your mom, or that you think your boss is a jerk. You, as the intelligently honest person, can choose to give feedback, provide information to others on yourself, and share your viewpoint. No one should hold your feet to the fire as long as you're being transparent. The only feet held to the fire should be those who aren't practicing transparency, and please call me out on it when I'm not being transparent.
So, take two things with you.
1. In the Jeramey School of Thought, transparency enables you to build rich relationships
2. If you feel inclined to keep secrets, don't let others know that you're keeping them.Transparency the anit-BS.