Web 2.0 is all about sharing and collaboration. There have been lots of stories lately that have shown something of a backlash against that sharing, pointing out how oversharing makes us easy targets for criminals, talking about cyberstalking, etc. That’s not where I’m going.
I’ve found myself thinking recently about what people don’t share, about what, in the midst of all this sharing, they still keep private. We all have different comfort levels about some things, and just where our particular privacy levels are can say a lot about us.
For instance, I tend to be far more private about money than many other people are, and I know that is rooted in my upbringing. I can’t imagine announcing my salary or our household income to the world. It seems too crass for words. The same argument applies to discussing things like how much anything in particular costs, whether it be a dress, a house, a car, monthly rent on an apartment, etc.
Some people find it completely appalling to discuss the details of one’s relationships. I have to wonder if they even discuss them with their partners, or if they just assume they’re on the same page with each other.
I tend to be private about the particulars of sex, but some people would never mention sex, period, and others put it all out in public.
Health is another area where everybody has different comfort levels. I talk very publicly about some of my health issues while being quieter about others. Other people don’t ever mention having any health issues to anyone but their physicians.
Public shaming of children and pets is a big thing now. It’s funny to see a dog holding sign saying, “I ate Mom’s Bible,” or whatever, but it isn’t humorous at all to see a child shamed. It’s detrimental to their self-esteem.
What’s private for you? Where do you draw the line? Why?