Jordan has this to say, exercising his right by declining to pass the 5 Things on:
….forgive me for asking: who are you, anyway? who am I to you. That’s the flaw in the premise of the meme that gets me. Can’t say what someone doesn’t know if you don’t know who someone is.
I don’t think it’s just a flaw in the premise of the meme; it’s a flaw in the premise of how people, particularly in the West, perceive things like identity.
I spoke about it at reboot earlier this year during the Graveyard Slot, talking about things destined for death. And identity abd privacy as we knew them were on the list.
In many cultures identity is defined by what you stand for, what groups you belong to. Some of these groups may be based on simple things like geography or blood, but most such groupings are complex and form an integral part of identity.
So in a way Jordan’s absolutely right. Without who are you and who am I to you the 5 things meme appears to have little meaning.
But Jordan is also slightly off track. There are many cultures that trust first, that welcome strangers into their midst, that believe in being open and transparent. These are good things to have, things we’ve lost.
We need to claw back some of the stuff we’ve lost. Stuff that hides under the bushel of identity and privacy and confidentiality.
There’s a line in one of my favourite films, Local Hero:
We don’t lock doors here.
That too is something we’ve lost. We need it all back.