You see, I am one of those people who are profiled here: someone who lets it all* hang out online. *well, OK, not all, but a lot.
But the one big difference between me and the people profiled is this: I'm a whole generation older than they are. I'm 43, but online I have more in common with these 23 year olds than I do with my fellow fortysomethings.
In fact, I've given up on trying to interest my cohort in social networking services like Flickr or Digg. They could care less; most of them don't see any point in participating. "Why would you want to share your photos with other people?", they ask.
And I see a few (not many, but a small percentage) of people in my generation (e.g. the Boomers and those born in the decade after the Baby Boom) participating in this grand experiment in self-disclosure. But we are vastly, VASTLY, outnumbered by the crowd born after 1980, the teens and early-twentysomethings. They have taken to heart one of the things that their elders still don't (or won't) see: VERY LITTLE ABOUT YOUR LIFE IS PRIVATE ANYWAYS.
Let me explain. Most of the facts of your life, if you think about it, are available to anyone who has the resources and connections to find them. Whole businesses are devoted to the task of building and sharing databases filled with information about you: your credit history, your driving record, your shopping habits (Air Miles, Safeway card, etc.), what courses you flunked out of in college, pretty much everything. That, uhh, "novelty" you picked up at that adult store? There's a sales record. That regular rendezvous you're carrying on, that you think your spouse doesn't know about? Don't count on it staying a secret for very long. How do you think private investigators stay in business?
The big difference between the generations is how they respond to this lack of privacy. Most fortysomethings are uncomfortable, even horrified, about it. Many of them don't even want to think about it. But the post-1980 crowd TREATS THAT LACK OF PRIVACY AS A GIVEN, and thinks: "Well, if I'm going to be public anyways, then I may as well enjoy my time on stage and grab a little spotlight." In other words, the younger generation doesn't see our modern data-mining, lack-of-privacy culture as a problem, but as an opportunity. Not something to be feared or escaped from (as if you could!), but something to be embraced, a way for them to say "Hey, this is me. This is what I like and don't like, these are my friends, here are my photos and what I think about that new CD that just came out, and here's my dating profile on LavaLife, and..."
Like I said, most older people don't get it, shake their heads over it, are afraid of it even. And I find myself in a weird situation of being from an older generation, but living in the mindset of a younger one.