live in public

Living in public means living out in the open for everyone else to see…to expose private parts of your life. Everyone lives their lives in the public at least a little bit; for example, we may consider our private information (such as address and phone number) out in the public if a store where you bought a tv “shares” your private information with a partner vendor, or we share information with others through different public sites like Facebook, Twitter and so on. However, some people have more information open to the public  than others; for example, politicians, celebrities, sports figures, newscasters, etc… expose more of their private life to a public extreme.

Whenever information is shared with the public, it has to be shared with the following points in mind:

Some pros:

  • if a person has a problem” X”, that person can get help from another person who has had the same  problem
  • A person can probably find a job if he makes his information public. Two sites often used are and
  • A person can probably raise money for a special cause
  • Police and government can solve crime cases or get help to resolve government commitments  by posting the problem to the public

Some cons:

  • Can create problems for a person who tells a friend something bad related to work through Facebook, Twitter, etc … and then that person’s workplace finds out about the comments and fires the person.
  • If personal information is stolen, that information can generate financial issues and all kinds of troubles.

Actors like Jeremy Renner, Robert Downy Jr, etc… live most of their careers in public since their careers depend on the public’s opinion. For example, here are two critics’ sites

Living in public or sharing information with the public can bring either good or bad experiences, right?

For example an actor, actress or a person that works to entertain the public (by being famous) can be stalked by paparazzi or harassed by the entertain media when they interfere with their personal lives by extracting information (what they eat, like dislike,…etc), pictures or even home-videos and post or sell that information to the public. This example can be considered a bad experience for some but for others, it is a way to sell the famous.

On the other hand, living in public or working for the public or media can orient, teach or help the public by sharing or exposing personal experiences ( that can inspire others to do better with their lives.

Given the above examples, does living your life out in the public eye bring more harm or more good to the average person who doesn’t have money to pay for a personal public relations manager?


17 thoughts on “live in public

  1. Honestly, it depends on the type of “average” person that you are. I consider an average person to be well established, have a college degree, and a good job. If they have all of this, what is the harm in you staying out of the public eye? You keep in touch with your close friends and family through your phone and that is all you may need. Some may not need to have twitter or Facebook to keep in touch. However, there are other “average” people that may need to publicize their information in other to obtain jobs, or apply for certain things online. That is when their information all becomes public. I guess for people in their 20’s, staying in the public eye does more good than bad. But for people like my dad who is 50, he is out of the public eye in terms of operating through social media sites, and he is doing just fine without it. There can be two types of “average” people in this world.

  2. Living your life in the public eye is something you really have to be careful about. Personally, I think it’s all about the image you give yourself. If you’re a good person a paparazzi will find it very hard to catch you doing something bad. Whereas if you’re usually getting yourself into trouble it’ll usually be easier for them to catch you on camera. It could bring both harm and good to you depending on who you are. But if I had to choose I think more harm, simply because if you don’t have a public relations manager to talk to the press and public about your wrong doings things can become very stressful for you.

  3. Living your life in the public eye can be a challenging thing. Some people prefer to live a private life, but others aren’t given that option. I think it all depends on the type of person you are on whether or not living your life in the public eye could bring more harm than good. The majority of us are average people who don’t have a personal public relations manager, so the reputation you give yourself is what the public will think of you. I think it all depends on your actions; whether or not you live your life in the public eye shouldn’t be an indication of bringing more harm or more good to yourself.

  4. I think the only common public privacy issues that a lot of “average” people worry about are finding out where one lives on google maps, and getting other information like age or number of relatives on online people search engines. My parents really aren’t tech-savvy, and I remember one conversation a couple years ago where my aunt or some other family member told them that people can search their name on the internet and get some information on them. They were definitely kind of worried. Although I’ve never paid for a website like or any other white page search engine, the information I find I the free versions really aren’t that reliable. Sure you can find a picture from google maps of their house, and some people may be worried about that, but other information like income or phone number are less reliable. And if people are worried about this information, then they could maybe pay someone to make this information harder for the public to find.

  5. I think it is difficult to answer this question because it totally regards on the person. When we are talking about the average person, I assume with are not talking about celebrities. If you are sharing negative things for the public to see than your more likely to bring harm to your life. If you are always doing good and positive things than your life will be viewed good in the public eye. The only way sharing your life in public could bring harm to your life is when outside people use things against you. For example, your contact information, doesn’t show you are a bad person. However, somebody could take that information and stalk you. In conclusion, I agree with the pros and cons you posted about sharing information to the public.

  6. I would also like to add that a pro to social media is branching out, getting noticed, or making friends. That truly is the point of social media these days so I thought it was worth a mention. People have been living slightly public lives for decades in respect to disclosing phone numbers and addresses as you I agree though that to some degree we are all living public lives. Google alone is able to reveal an absurd amount of information about most average citizens. It’s like the old saying “live by the sword, die by the sword”. High levels of technology make us who we are, but this same technology, particularly in the form of social media has the potential to break us. To answer your question directly though, social media has done more harm than good for most in my opinion.
    Here’s an article about how unprotected we are from being broken by our own technologies:
    Here’s an interesting about the role social media has played in the Boston bombing investigation

  7. Living in public is not an issue for the average person as long as they are careful with what they share. Obviously the main issue with the common person having public information is the risk of identity theft. But if you are careful about what information they share with the world the benefits out way the possible risks. By taking a few simple steps a person can seriously cut down on the possibility of identity theft. The main thing people need to do is be critical about who they are handing information out to. Email is a big way for people to get information from unsuspecting victims. When an email comes in you should always double check who the sender is and be certain what information they need from you. Fake bank emails can allow the sender to get your account number and password, leading to a miserable time trying to prove the person spending the money is not you. (
    The positives of living in public far outweigh the risks. Living in public allows you to build a much larger network of friends and work associates; this larger network will help the average person solve problems throughout their life. A person who is looking for a job can utilize sites like Linkedin to publicly display their prowess in the work world. While their network of associates can help get them in front of possible employers by endorsing their skill set. But business is not the only benefit of a larger network. Personally a larger network of family and friends makes them more likely to find someone that could help them with problems that arise in life. Finding somebody that can help them through an illness or crisis because of their previous experience is one of the best tools for coping. Although public living does have its faults the benefits far outweigh the potential problems for the average person.

  8. Being out in the public eye could and can really be a problem for some people. Like others have commented, it really depends on the needs of the people were talking about. In regards to the question you asked, i feel being in the public eye would be quite a problem for the average person. There are so many ways to get into peoples lives just through a social media site, and from there they can do just about whatever they want to. They can know where you live, and know where you shop, possibly steal banking information from the stores, and end up stealing your identity. There is some good that comes out of social media however, we hear of people helping diseases and helping charities as well. Missing persons cases have also been solved though social media. But again, for the average person, these are not the most common traits. Not everyone helps charities, or has people missing from their lives. So for the average person, I feel living in the public eye would not be a good idea.

  9. I don’t think that there is a right answer to this question. Like you said above there are pros and cons to this dilemma. I think that if you are speaking in regards to an average person then it might be a good thing if they proceed with caution. If they are using a social media site to promote themselves then they should probably have a profile that looks professional and avoids having pictures of them at parties or of their Sunday brunch. So yes it can be good but it can also be bad. You can’t have a profile to cater to all audiences to get your image out there without offending someone else. So I think it can be good ( if used strategically) and bad (if used carelessly).

  10. Although I think you raised some good points, not everyone who uses Facebook or another form of social media is a celebrity. Not everyones reputations are on the line, and likewise, not all information put out there is necessarily harmful.

    Indeed there are pros and cons, like the ones you have listed. However, I don’t believe much harm can be caused by social media, but rather the person is harming themselves. For example, people shouldn’t put something up on the internet that they think might one day harm them. There is such a thing as being scarce. For those people who are in the public eye, it is true that other people can comment on their lives and put it on the internet – to that I say: do not DO something that might cause your career harm. You chose the career, and with that you have to act a certain way.

  11. I think ultimately each person must regulate how much information they put out there. I guess you could say that average people need to have some sense of PR when posting online. However, I believe that social media has brought more benefits to society than harm. Although we have given up some level of privacy we have gained an invaluable tool that connects us and allows us to unite. Overall social media has given us the ability to observe one another and share ideas in a way that has never been seen before.

  12. I’m not sure the average person must live in public even if they choose to put themselves all over the internutz. “Megastarz” like Angelina Jolie and Jim Jardashian or whatever his name is, have made a conscious decision to enter into a “silent agreement” with the paparazzi. They ask for the coverage because, together with their publicist, they know the coverage will increase their ‘brand presence’ to use a rather soulless business term. In turn, the sleazy pseudo-journalists photograph the dickens out of them because they make their money selling the images and stories. And the public eats it up with a trowel. There are plenty of actors who, on their worst day, can act circles around Reese “Knuckles” Witherspoon, yet they chose to appear in plays like Othello, for much less money and fame, instead of appearing in cinematic abominations like Legally Blonde and Beverly Hills Kitty Hotel 3: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord. This is different from having your purchases tracked by some unseen entity for the purpose of bombarding you with advertisements every time you check your email. Then they go and sell your data to other unseen entities to use to sell you more stuff. I didn’t consent to any of that. How do I opt out? Private browsing?

  13. This is a difficult thing to really answer. Because I’m almost positive none of us here are celebrities, we really don’t know what it’s like for them to “live in public.” We cannot tell what is the truth and what is just gossip and hearsay. In an article I read, Angelina Jolie said that she puts a lot of things out in public so people will focus on those things and she can keep what really needs to be private, private.
    It’s not a shocking concept that if you make it big in Hollywood or any industry like it, you are setting yourself up for public scrutiny. It is basically in the job requirements for you to be able to handle it all. However some people don’t want that, and they have ways of protecting themselves, but all in all most celebrities understand. It’s scary the kind of information that floats the web involving celebrities, I know I sure wouldn’t want the kind of personal things paparazzi take photos of up on the web. However, they have a choice. They have a choice not to act stupid in public or allow certain things to be out there, but they do. It’s all for show. Half of the stories we hear about celebrities are just for press and show. It is a made up story or situation they put out there to boost themselves back up when they’re starting to slow down.
    Now, I’m not saying that paparazzi have the right to hound and stalk celebrities, and it’s not right that their personal photos/videos/etc…are being sold to the public. No human being should have to fight for privacy that bad. However, if you’re setting your face up on the big screen for millions of people to watch, you have to know that most of your private life will be under watch and scrutiny unless you decide to live under a rock.

  14. We all have public relation managers. Granted, they may not be the multimillionaire types that actors and actresses have, nevertheless, we do have them. Our public relation managers come in all-different shapes and sizes and they work tirelessly for us, yet receive no accolades (or money) for the job they do. One might ask, who are these public relation managers? Well, the most important one is you. You and only you are responsible for your actions. Furthermore, we have a multitude of back up public relation managers working on our behalf, including our parents, spouses, and children, as well as close friends. Some of the best advice I’ve received was to live life as if someone you cared about or admired was watching you 24/7 (not in a creepy reality TV show kind of way) but as a check and balance system.
    So, it’s not about how to spin the reckless things we’ve done, it’s about not doing the reckless things in the first place.

  15. You bring up a very good point. Actors, politicians and other “famous” people by law have different expectations of privacy. To your point, they can be hounded by paparazzi, be photographed doing all sorts of things and can be written about unmercifully in the public domain. The question becomes, is someone with 5,000 followers famous and therefore do they have to lower their expectations of a private life? I’ve always thought that Michael Jordan, Prince Charles and Lady Gaga were paid handsomely for their pubic life. How much is the mommy blogger making though? Is it fair to hold her to the same standard? I believe that this question is far from settled and will be increasingly debated in journalistic and legal circles as technology facilitates increasingly more people receiving their 15 minutes of fame.

  16. Given the fact I am not a celebrity the only information I wouldn’t want anyone to know is my credit card info etc. If I was a celebrity I wouldn’t want people to know where I live or what I was doing at any given point of the day because chances are other people will act on that information. The chances of someone looking for my address to do harm to me is slim but I understand it can happen and the information isn’t very hard to get nowadays. The benefits of living in public for the average person outweigh the costs. I like the fact that job seekers can post their resume to thousands of employers even at the cost of anyone being able to access the information. Social media can bring distant friends closer together in ways never before possible. If I want to know how someone I haven’t seen in awhile is doing I can just go on Facebook or Twitter. I think it’s amazing that people can follow and even interact with their favorite celebrities, athletes, etc. It creates a level of surrealism due to the fact that we get to pick the brains of those we idolize. For the average person living in public is entertaining and generally beneficial. On the other hand I can see why some might dislike the idea of living in public. It really just depends on who you are.

  17. Living in public and interacting with it means I’m giving up some security. Realistically, I’m taking a risk by putting my credit card in the gas pump or showing someone a picture of my license, or really giving someone my phone number. But I’m not famous, I really don’t think anyone would care too much to know the details of my life, other than to get a hold of the money I have. Bad publicity for me means nothing. I have no problem talking to people on twitter or over facebook about things I do, nothing particularly dangerous arises from the fact. These kinds of things make communication easier, at the cost of my life being more visible, and me (being me) am okay with it, otherwise I really wouldn’t do it.

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