Why do I know that Kim Kardashian is pregnant and going to workout in see through pants? Why would I want to see through Kim’s pants?
And how about the mother who went public with the rules she laid down for her thirteen year-old son’s use of a cell phone? Do I care? How does the son feel about the public announcement of family laws?
There’s more… the mother of an autistic child writes a very public essay detailing the challenging aspects of her teenager’s condition, complete with information that is sure to scar the autistic teen forever.
And then there’s the person, you know who I mean, who sends a photocopied Christmas letter outlining every burp, sneeze, hiccup and prize connected to every member of the family that you never see. One dysfunctional correspondent included the meds her children were on and the therapists each were seeing. TMI TMI TMI
Nothing is private any more. It’s not like Big Brother or Big Google is divulging this information. The individuals, themselves, are violating their own privacy and that of their family members quite flagrantly. True, talentless Kim Kardashian needs to grease the publicity machine daily in order to stay in the headlines—maybe that’s her business and part of her marketing plan. I understand that, but think it’s awfully pathetic that there’s an audience wanting to see her in her latest display of anything formerly private. Reality TV proves that absolutely nothing is sacred or personal anymore.
We learned when Bethany’s husband was horny and when Bethany had a headache; now we know they’re getting divorced and he’s drinking coffee alone in café wearing his wedding band. Ugh!
The mom of the autistic teen undoubtedly thought she was doing a good deed by giving strangers insight into life with autism. But this kid’s life is forever altered by the mom’s tell-all. Who is going to befriend this kid in school or hire him for a part time job? Doors are closed for this poor teen, and the article could have been written without identifying the parent or child… but it wasn’t. I found the article to be interesting and informative, but not worth the cost to the child.
Likewise the mom with the cell phone rules for her 13 year old. Honestly, how do you think that son is being treated in school now that his mom has made their family phone rules a public announcement? There’s also nothing so incredibly meaningful about her rules that merited the publicity. It’s the kind of information that used to be discussed within the family and agreements made based on trust.
Where does one draw the line between public and private? Facebook’s latest prompts want folks to “share” their feelings… “How’s it going, Diane?” I have this rebellious urge to type…”Go screw, none of your business.” But that would only serve as my status and wouldn’t accomplish what I wanted. And many Facebookers divulge far too much information on a daily basis. What’s private to some is glorious public fodder for others. My statuses tend to focus on what I’m reading, knitting, my community and, yes, some pictures of my cat. I’m sure someone reads these posts and thinks—what blather—who cares. Well, they can easily “defriend” me.
I’m more self-conscious about what I write in my blog. Am I, too, blurring the line between public and private. My quest for a more simple, healthy, well-balanced life is something I blog about. I’m cautious about the unintended consequences of the written word escaping my control and spreading across the web. I don’t share anything except my own news and my own thoughts—so I can make the disclaimer that “no family members, animals or other living beings were hurt in the creation of this writing.” But the question about what should remain private still haunts me. Growing up, there was information that was kept under the roof and processed by family only. It worked. It was a safe environment to bear one’s soul. We problem-solved around the kitchen table, not in a public forum.
I do think individuals lose a piece of themselves when they expose all to the public eye. It’s giving up too much of one’s “self” to an audience that doesn’t deserve it or even care about it most of them time. I think there’s value in sharing news and working through issues with people you care about and trust. Broadcasting private issues in very public arenas subtracts far more than it adds, in my humble opinion. I feel like a voyeur looking at something not so attractive and want to turn away.