The Privacy Paradox

The generational differences about what is deemed appropriate to share online via social networking and social media tools always interests me, as the fallout of those differences can usually be seen in the way in which businesses are attempting to leverage social media in the context of CRM.

A conversation I had last night with my mother highlighted this. She was online viewing her granddaughter’s Facebook account and was astonished by some of the information people post, and for that matter, the information e-commerce sites request when she’s shopping online.

Herself a baby boomer, it’s understandable, but for somebody my age, it’s second nature. Taken in the context of CRM, it’s creating a privacy paradox. Social media and networking has given people a new vehicle by which to express themselves, and as a result, a new medium by which businesses to communicate with consumers. The problem is that these socially-driven impulses clash with generational values across age groups.

Younger generations like mine don’t care as much about the potential consequences as older generations do, and it’s leading to new values about online social interactions as younger generations begin to represent the primary purchasing within America. As these new values take hold, it will be interesting to watch their fallout on the enterprise 2.0 movement taking place as we speak.