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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Secrets, secrets, are no fun


Secrets, secrets, are no fun.

It was February 26th. Muggie (that is what we called Matt Mugford before he became the sex God that he is today) and I were on our way back to my home to “play some NFL Blitz”…or so I was told. As I walked in the door, I was led upstairs to the hunter green den. As I opened the door, there were screams and confetti poppers. “SURPRISE!!” Yelled the room full of friends.

Taryn had set up an elaborate surprise birthday party…there was only one problem.

I already knew about it.

I had checked other’s e-mails, snooped through backpacks and discovered notes, and did my best to creep into other’s conversations. Why? Because I hate surprises. While it may be that I like security and predictability, or perhaps it’s that I am a control freak, I just don’t like surprises. I like to know what’s coming. I like to know what other people are planning. I like to know what others are thinking, scheming, and dreaming. I like to peer into the minds and lives of others (just ask the people who live in the building across the street).

It is for this reason that I read almost 20 blogs a day. While I am sure there are those that still think blogging is for techies and teenie boppers only, I have friends who visit over 80 different blogs a day (if this is you…stop reading and go TALK to someone. I mean seriously. 80 blogs?!). Blogs are windows into the lives of others. They tell secrets, weekend plans, love stories, recipes, equations, videos, etc.

It doesn’t stop with blogs either. We live in a time where Paris Hilton’s sex tapes and Britney Spear’s cell phone pictures can be passed around the web in a matter of minutes. We live in a time where a mayor’s explicit e-mails can be forwarded to all of the senate before noon. Secrets are becoming more and more difficult to hold. What was once private is now public.

So what does this mean? It means we live in a time of transparency. In the business world it is often referred to as radical transparency. Companies such as google, wikipedia, and facebook are always showing their cards. They are showing their projects in Beta form, they are offering free software, and they are releasing open source programs. Southwest Airlines even has a blog ran by employees that tells their every day experience on the job. They tell the dark stuff (a flight attendant slapped somebody) and the good (benefits, pay scale, etc) These companies are willing to show the world EVERYTHING that is moving within the organization. They show the process in which they are in. They show private thoughts to the public.

“Secrecy is dying. And its probably already dead.”

So what does this mean for you and I as we live in a world that is quickly becoming transparent? Does it make you uncomfortable? Do you like surprises and secrets? Why do you read other’s blogs? Why do you read this one? What does the Church do in a world that is quickly becoming more transparent? What is the difference between being transparent and being held accountable?

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