What kind of information are we willing to share with others?

Strangers in a subway station

Following a past article (We are much like Venn diagrams), in which we ended with a few conclusions, I’m writing this to complete those ideas with more ideas; this time aiming not to the relationships themselves, but to the inner part of a relationship, and how people organize their own information, just to know which things they’re going to share.

So, basically, this is all about sharing. We can gather information from anywhere, anyone,anything. That information can be turned into what we call knowledge. This knowledge can be translated into information to other people, so that when you share your knowledge, you share information. They may or may not turn that information into knowledge. But the key here is to know what information are we willing to share with others?

Let’s start where we left off in the last article. First, we people can be seen as Venn diagrams, which are supposed to be a representation of a set of things. We are calling these things knowledge, or information: Anything related us is in there. Each person is a diagram, and each person might or not share some pieces of knowledge with others. Can you picture it?

Two overlapped sets

This use of the word share means that both people have the same knowledge, or information; opposite to share as an action in which one of them gives the information to the other person. Get it? I believe the rest of the article uses the word “share” the latter way.

We are also like a cell, with a nucleus keeping the most important things (information, knowledge). But, as a set of things, with an inner compartment, could we have more compartments like this? Or better, compartments within compartments? I believe so, as I believe that just as we classify people in order of closeness (se the past article mentioned above), we classify information in order of which things can we share, and with whom.

We are excavation fields

We are a field, in which other people can dig to find the treasure (your information). In a way, all our information is hidden. If we are a field, we could say we have our own representative (like a field-keeper), who is able to determine which people have permissions to go further into the field.

So the field can have layers. The outer layers contain the information we share with anyone, even strangers; this information might be our own actions themselves, if seen as information by others. A layer deeper you can only go with an invitation or a password. Is like a wall is keeping unrelated people out. Unrelated to you, of course, because once someone gets to be somehow related to you, he/she gets the password, and can then go into the first wall, without permission from you.

First inner layer

You dont really have to worry about people having a password if they are actually related to you. That’s because the first layer, even having all the things “in plain sight” (already dug up), is where you keep the “minimal information”; things like your first name, last name, birthday, work email, work phone, and that sort of things you wouldn’t mind (almost) anyone to know about you.

Second inner layer

People can only access your second layer with a special key made by you. You have the ability to create keys, and to destroy keys. Your keys. To this layer, friends and family may enter. Each person you have a relationship with can enter this part of the field. They all can dig up your information, your knowledge.

But they don’t have a “dig it all up” pass. Remember your representative? He/she will keep the people from digging “sensitive” information that might be there. You could fill a deeper layer with that information, but sometimes you don’t care that much. The representative (you, in a metaphoric way), will keep other from digging “too deep” on that layer, when you’re not comfortable letting some people doing so.

On the other hand, letting people into that layer gives them the ability to dig that deep, even when then you try to prevent it. Most of the time you will have control on what information you’ll share with people. Some times you won’t: People in that layer might outwit the representative (say, your conscious self), and dig deeper than you’d like them to, even in that layer.

Third inner layer and more…

Even when you have probably thought about how we tend to share information, but to keep most of it from curious eyes (and most people), you surely know some information, even so personal you wouldn’t think about sharing it with anybody, is kept somewhere. In most cases the third layer is filled with such information.

Secrets, emotions, feelings, deep thoughts about people, about yourself. These things are there, and the only way for others to step into that layer, is to have an expressed permission from you (so to speak). If they needed a key to get into the second layer, the now need you to open the door, with them blindfolded, and you leading them and digging for them only the information you want them to see.

For most people, family can enter this room. For others, just best friends. For a tiny group, both family and best friends. In some cases, though, you let some people in, with no warnings, because you feel comfortable with that: With these people wandering around the field, digging up your information.

A representation of the different information layers

Sounds weird, but sometimes you even create a fourth inner layer, in which you keep the most precious thoughts, ideas, feelings, conceptions, and anything you don’t want anyone to know. More than a layer, it might as well be a chest, with a hundred digits combination only you know, and keep elsewhere.

In a relationship, people exchange keys

I really have no experience on the matter (hey, I’m still a 16 years old guy), so in reality I don’t know if people actually exchange house/apartment keys. The thing is that reality doesn’t matter: The idea behind that is to give free pass to the person to be able to be in your life, without your constant presence.

Get the point? By giving your knowledge field’s keys to a person, you’re giving them permission to dig out your information (thoughts, opinions, emotions, feelings), with confidence. You trust the person enough to let them pass, “worry-less”.

In the end, I think anyone should know they can take the key away. PErhaps you knew it. PErhaps you just get lost reading. I tend to exaggerate analogies, to a point I don’t know if I’m making any sense. So I ask you: Does any of this makes sense to you? Are we a field, with buried information that others can dig up, by visiting and asking for permission?

One Thought

  1. I understand what you’re talking about. I also found it interesting that you’re only 16 years old as well!

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