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Addicted to Social Sharing? Maybe You're a 'Datasexual'

By Andrew Chow, Esq. on April 18, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Riding the (once-trendy) coattails of the term "metrosexual," there's a new modern description for people -- including lawyers -- obsessed with all things digital: "datasexual."

"The datasexual looks a lot like you and me, but what's different is their preoccupation with personal data," the website explains. "They are relentlessly digital, they obsessively record everything about their personal lives, and they think that data is sexy. In fact, the bigger the data, the sexier it becomes."

While metrosexuality defines urban males who are overly concerned with personal appearances, datasexuals can be of any gender and are most turned on by one type of appearance: the visual display of information.

BigThink traces the origins of datasexuality to the creation of infographics, which led to new ways of visualizing data.

Early datasexual pioneers promoted "self knowledge through numbers" by recording data about themselves throughout the day. Companies like Nike eventually caught on and developed shoes that keep track of distances walked, for example.

Nowadays, datasexuals are divulging much more than that. They're counting calories on apps and posting their weight-loss progress online, checking-in at exotic locations and broadcasting their GPS coordinates, even videotaping their every move and creating live feeds for fans to follow.

Lawyers who regularly update Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or blogs may be discovering some datasexual drawbacks: Supplying those streams with constant content actually takes a lot of work. (FindLaw's Law Firm Marketing experts can help make it less of a chore.)

Datasexuals can also leave a voluminous electronic trail of their activities, which may be subject to public ridicule or even e-discovery.

That could work to a lawyer's advantage, if an opposing party has datasexual tendencies. On the flip side, there may be so much data that it becomes overwhelming; some refer to this as "digital exhaust," BigThink explains.

Those who place a premium on privacy may be quick to dismiss the datasexual trend. But with social sharing on the rise, even among lawyers, the datasexual fad is likely here to stay.

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