a new generation of Web sites like Dscover.me, Sitesimon.com andVoyurl.com is banking on our willingness to take that next step toward taking our lives public: namely, by automatically tracking personal browsing histories for public viewing.
Paul Jones, a founder of Dscover.me, said he and his founding partner conceived the site because they were old college friends and wanted a way to better share common interests, from shopping finds to tech news, while living in different parts of the country.
At times, their communication would drop off, Mr. Jones said. "Then, at one point we just said to each other, ‘What if we could just show each other what we're reading and watching and shopping for?' "
(The services offer ways to hide your tracks when you want to. )
This touches concretely on those well-worn issues of transparency that have occupied us since the early days of the Internet: Could someone's life stand up to their every click on the web being tracked and broadcast? Depending on just how depraved you are, it would probably be equally oppressive and liberating. Oppressive in that you'd be weighed down by the judgmental gaze of a million invisible strangers as you navigated to your favorite Internet vice: porn/shopping/right-wing blogs/whatever. But liberating because you'd no longer have to hide your online kinks from anyone. After the first embarrassing link pops up in your feed, you might be able to cruise along, completely owning it, shame-free.
And think of all the time you'd save, not having to scramble to "clear browsing data" every time your girlfriend wanted to check her email on your laptop.
[Image via Shutterstock]