peep culture
n. A culture in which many people write about or display — and other people to take pleasure in reading or watching — the minutiae of their daily lives.
There is ethical challenge here, of having to be worthy of one’s own life and the events that constitute it. It means that if you do want to share, then you’d better live in a way that is worthy of sharing. I believe this is what Cathie meant by everyone living in glass houses. This is not about living an exciting or hedonistic existence, but of living a reflective and satisfying one. Therefore, if there is a trend toward so-called 'peep culture', then it is not about the tabloidisation of everyday life into bite-sized titilation [sic] of 140char or less, but a far more ethical mode of existence.
—Glen Fuller, “Ethics of Sharing, Adulthood and Online Culture,” Event Mechanics, September 30, 2009
Mr. Niedzviecki believes many people welcome surveillance because the collapse of community has left them feeling disconnected and alone. Surveillance, he says, is part of the shift from pop culture to what he calls peep culture. "We derive more and more of our entertainment from watching ourselves and others go about our lives," he says. "We're going to enter a point where we become quite addicted to being watched."
—Don Butler, “Are we addicted to being watched?,” The Ottawa Citizen, January 31, 2009
2007 (earliest)
Elaine Katzenberger at City Lights acquired U.S. rights to a new book by Hal Niedzviecki titled Peep Culture: How Pop Became Peep and We Learned to Love Spying on Our Neighbors. Niedzviecki, founder and fiction editor of Broken Pencil, a magazine on zine culture, will explore the way pop culture has conditioned us to betray our own secrets and invade the space of strangers.
—Matthew Thornton, “Deals,” Publishers Weekly, September 03, 2007
Peep culture is a play on pop culture, a phrase that entered the language around 1959 (although the longer form popular culture is surprisingly older, with a first OED cite from 1854). Peep culture was coined by the writer Hal Niedzviecki, who therefore features in two of the three citations here (although the phrase does show up quite often without referencing Mr. Niedzviecki). To avoid confusion, I should point out that the earliest citation mentions a forthcoming book named Peep Culture: How Pop Became Peep and We Learned to Love Spying on Our Neighbors, but the actual title of the book (which came out earlier this year) is The Peep Diaries: How We're Learning to Love Watching Ourselves and Our Neighbors.