Marketing maven Seth Godin once said something along the lines of "safe is risky and risky is safe". While I'm no guru, I'd like to make an addendum to this statement.
Everything is risky.
But it wasn't always this way. TV once portrayed perfection—fantasy, and radio told us what we thought we wanted to hear. There was no way to provide instant feedback. If you wanted to pick a bone with a TV or radio personality, you'd have to call the hotline, and chances were slim that you'd get on. Risk in these mediums could be managed with a degree of precision. Time delays and *beeps* over unsavory language ensured it. We got used to how the mediums worked and mastered their rhythms.
The internet is slightly different. And it's evolving. It's unpredictable, messy, organic, empowering, addictive and pervasive. It's good and bad—highly interactive, responsive, connective and alive. In fact, it's a lot like life. And like life, with it everything is risky. Each time we step outside our homes, we put ourselves at risk. The world can take us out at any time. A car accident, a virus, an act of nature.
The Web is a lot like this. Put something on it that you think is provocative—try to get people talking and you risk being ignored. Put something out that looks "safe" and you might inadvertently upset someone who you never new existed. Put something out that you think will appeal to everyone and you risk appealing to no-one. Stay away from the internet and someone will capture what you did with a mobile phone and put it on there anyway. With every post I write, I'm taking a risk.
Everything is risky.
When all roads lead to risk, there's only one thing we can do. Live. We live life by learning, by trying, by falling down getting up and learning from the best teacher we've ever had—life itself. Everything is now risky, every piece of media we upload can come back to haunt us. Everything can be frozen through a screen capture. In life we deal by going out into the world and navigating it's customs. Those who barricade themselves indoors thinking they avoid risk end up risking the quality of their social interactions.
If everything is risky, then nothing is safe. There is no safe anymore. What's left looks a lot like living. You live, you learn. You get up in the morning, tie your shoes and cross the street looking both ways. But you cross it—because if you don't, you can't live. And every once in a while you take a chance. Because everything is risky anyway.