What’s Private for You?

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?

Cyn is Rick's wife, Katie's Mom, and Esther & Oliver's Mémé. She's also a professional geek, avid reader, fledgling coder, enthusiastic gamer (TTRPGs), occasional singer, and devoted stitcher.
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