That’s one of the biggest differences between the early web and what we have now: that it’s easy to share ourselves. Entire business sectors have been built and vast fortunes made on making that impulse easier to satisfy.
The challenge now is in how those fragments of our lives are treated. This is as much a social question as a technological problem, but the two are not separable. What Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and every other at-scale social network does now—everything they make possible or impossible, everything they make easier or harder—will shape what we think of as normal in a decade or two. It won’t utterly control the way we use the web, but it will undoubtedly influence our online behavior at a deep level.
And so those who build the systems of interaction have a unique responsibility, because what they allow and forbid defines them. As Derek Powazek has said, “What you tolerate is what you are.” What networks allow, and more importantly what they encourage, defines them as well. A network where it’s easy to attack and difficult to defend makes a very different value statement than one where it’s difficult to attack and easy to defend.