Home
In this issue
December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan. 19, 2007 / 29 Teves, 5767

To be un-famous

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker
Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Prediction: The new hot thing in our future will be anonymity.


To be un-famous.


To be Googled — and to not be there. No link. No Wiki. No tube, space or face. No nothing.


It's too late for most adults — anyone with a job, a driver's license or a signature on a public document. But in a world where anyone can be known, what could be cooler than not being known? In a celebrity-saturated culture, what could be hotter than not being a celebrity?


You may have noticed that celebrity ain't what it used to be. Where there was once hard work and accomplishment behind one's being awarded celebrity status, today one need only wake up, plug in the video cam and hit a button.


Voila! Insta-fame.


Time was, one had to do something to earn fame. Write a best-seller; break a world record; find a cure. Now, one can be famous for being famous. Think Paris Hilton, the most Googled person of 2006.


Thanks to people like Hilton, being anonymous is not, alas, high on most people's agendas, especially among the twentysomething crowd, the so-called millennial generation.


Recently, the Pew Research Center polled 18- to 25-year-olds about their generation's top life goals. Of 579 interviewed by telephone, 81 percent said getting rich is their generation's most or second-most important goal, while 51 percent said being famous was most important.


In USA Today, young people elaborated on those findings, saying they were influenced by the celebrity lifestyles they witness through the media.


While some said they weren't seeking fame so much as distinction, others see celebrity as an end in itself. Said David Morrison of the research firm Twentysomething Inc.: ``We're seeing the common person become famous for being themselves.''


Thanks to Web phenomena such as YouTube, MySpace and Facebook, anyone can be her very own self.


On YouTube, millions post everything from Saddam Hussein's execution to two guys being funny in a dorm room. In some cases, really funny.


Millions of others keep up with friends and make new ones on Facebook and MySpace, where they post their biographies — and photographs many will live to regret.


Both sites require membership to enter and permission from owners to access personal areas. That seems civilized enough, even though recent lawsuits against MySpace's parent company, News Corp., on negligence and other charges related to adults' stalking underage users, suggest that privacy is never absolute.


Other new Internet developments are less respectful of ownership. With the advent of cell phone cameras and video, anyone can be made involuntarily famous. The option of being unknown is practically nil, while privacy may be unattainable.


In our brave new world, Big Brother isn't just watching; he's snooping.


The Wall Street Journal recently reported on new snoop sites where people can anonymously post reports about other people's foibles — everything from littering to bad parking to, well, you know what you do. And now everyone else can know, too.


Thinking of slipping into a handicapped parking space? You might find yourself posted at Caughtya.org. You may show up at LitterButt.com. Other sites offer postings of people who donít clean up after Rover, who drive badly, talk too loudly on their cell phone, or steal others' newspapers.


Shaming is back, say observers of the trend. And while a little shame might be helpful in curbing boorishness, snooping is another level of rude behavior. In democratizing technology, we've also empowered the tiny-minded and the underemployed. Everyone's a potential paparazzo.


Do we really want to live in a world populated by nosy neighbors with nothing better to do? Or who harbor malice toward another? Will cell stalking become the latest misdemeanor?


Anonymity, meanwhile, belongs only to the snoops and spies, who can blog someone's overheard telephone conversation or capture a couple's quarrel and post it for millions to see. No name, no blame. Only shame for the victims of tattletales run amok.


On the plus side, video technology has the potential to effect positive social change. In Los Angeles, Cop Watch solicits pictures of people being abused by the police. In Iraq, citizens are reporting events that otherwise might go unrecorded.


But in the personal realm, the bad may outweigh the good until we find a balance between what we can do and what we should do. In the interim, you should assume that wherever you are, whatever you're doing, someone is watching through a lens darkly.


Here's lookin' at you, babe.

A correction has been made to this column concerning the snoop site, Caughtya.org, since it was first posted

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Kathleen Parker can be reached by clicking here.


Kathleen Parker Archives

© 2006, WPWG

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles