This is a little subject that has caused me some stress of late. We hear in the news about invasion of people’s privacy. We hear how Facebook and Google are invading our privacy by collecting information and selling it to advertisers, etc. We also hear about parents who feel they have the right to invade their children’s privacy on the net. It is a hot topic that doesn’t seem to have a black and white answer. Of course, there is more to this privacy issue when you look at celebrity news and the paparazzi, but that goes beyond what I want address here (and don’t get me started on politics either!). What I want to discuss is first the notion of privacy and second how it has affected my relationships at home and at work.
Let me start by telling you that I am not a private person. My partner (and we will discuss this more too) says I “don’t have a filter”. Honestly, I am not unable to keep secrets nor do I see the need for any. Do I have secrets you might be saying to yourself? Well, I do and I don’t. There are things about myself that I am not particularly proud of and therefore I don’t discuss them with most people. But if you ask I will tell, hence the lack of a filter. So what you might want to keep private about yourself, tend to share. Maybe I need to get right into some examples to better understand what I am talking about.
I consider myself an openly gay man, but I don’t talk about it unless I am asked. Does that make sense? Too me it does. You see not everyone want to know my personal stuff, just like I don’t particularly care to hear about a straight mans exploits with women, most straight people don’t want to know my business either. It has to do with respect. Sometimes people want you to respect their privacy. To me that means “shut up” about stuff that doesn’t concern you. This is where the gossip side of me gets me into a lot of trouble and you can well imagine after reading my blog that I hold nothing back, sort of a loose cannon.
Now let’s move into some more specific examples which will demonstrate my problem. This first example involves the use of Facebook. On our trip to New Orleans earlier this month I took a lot of pictures and wanted to share them with friends and family. I also checked into restaurants and clubs on Facebook and Yelp. No harm here so far. The issue came later. Ricky started reading some of my posts and found one to be an invasion of his privacy. Oops! Big fight! I through a hissy fit and deleted my Facebook account. I won’t go into the details, suffice to say I told the truth about what we were doing and he didn’t like my wording and didn’t want his “circle” of family and friend thinking bad things about him. You see his phone wasn’t working well and so I posted everything and included him in the “with” part of the post. He wanted his “circle” to see the pictures, but not my editorial comments. Okay, so here I freely admit that I made a bad judgment call and said some things that were a little colorful or what Ricky calls them the “Johnson spin”. They invaded his privacy. I shared information he didn’t what to share. (In case you are wondering, I was able to restore my Facebook account minus the posts which I deleted.)
Okay, so that is my personal issue with privacy. Let’s look at another example that relates to family. You see, I monitor what the grandkids put on facebook. Their father doesn’t take the time. In fact, he doesn’t monitor his own posts which is why Ricky calls him my son. “Do you know what your son did?” So should I not be doing this? I think I should but it gets me in hot water. Because the thanks I get is that first he will yell at the granddaughter for what she did (he being our son). Then he will listen to her explanation. And then I am the one who has made her cry, because I jumped to conclusions. But you see his mother jumps to those same conclusions as does anyone else following their posts. I can’t win. In fact, sometimes his mother starts the whole inquiry. I am not friend with our son’s mother. In fact, I have only met her a few times, but I think we are a lot alike. Okay, so I have stopped stalking on Facebook. It just gets me in trouble.
Let’s get back to that question, “Do you have any secrets?” I do have some secrets. I don’t tell people things that will hurt them unless I think it is something they need to know to protect them. This is a thin line I walk.
Sometime these loose lips get me in trouble at work too. The solution is to read emails twice before sending and don’t share non job related information with others in the work place. But let’s face it, I do love to hear and share gossip. So I have to be very careful just what that gossip is about and think about who I am speaking to before blurting it out. Not everyone wants their business know and when it comes back to roost it has no resemblance to the original story. Bottom-line people get hurt and sometimes that person is me.
That is my little ditty about privacy. I would love to hear your stories.