A Web Page Of One’s Own

The Wall Street Journal:

Plenty of people have personal Web pages. But are we reaching the point where you need one?

The answer is still “no” — but that “no” is no longer quite so firm as it used to be. And sometimes that hesitation is a sign that the wheels of social change are starting to turn — that “no” will turn into “maybe” and then from there move quickly to “yes” and then finally to “it’s weird that you don’t.”

If you’re a thirtysomething, you’ve seen answering machines, voice mail, email addresses and cellphones complete the journey from curiosities to perceived necessities, just as our elders saw the same thing happen with TVs and phones.

The rise of email, IM and other forms of messaging have transformed the phone call into an intrusive way to communicate, best reserved for certain situations between people who already have a relationship.

Which is fine, but raises the issue of how we’re supposed to get in touch with people we don’t already know.

The most likely solution to the problem is a single point of contact, with additional levels of contact information unlocked by us as we deem appropriate.

A Web page — whether it’s on an outpost such as Facebook or LinkedIn or a site built out with communications tools — can serve that function pretty well. Another reason is potentially more troubling: the need to defend and define your own identity online, lest others do it for you.

Photo by wagg66.

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