What is privacy in the 21st century? Have we redefined the parameters of what should and should not be for public consumption?
The staple diet of most these days are reality TV shows that provide fly on the wall access to the homes of celebrities, the inner workings of football clubs and play by play commentary on the medical conditions of many who would previously have baulked at the mere thought of discussing them within the privacy of their own doctor’s surgery.
So what is privacy? What do we now consider the boundaries of what is for me to know and you to find out?
I can’t be too hypocritical about the subject; hence me asking questions, rather than pontificating from a standpoint of moral or ethical superiority. This blog serves as my medium to engage with others (you) and share ideas and beliefs about whatever subject I would like to discuss.
Social media gives us all an opportunity to instantly share the most random of thoughts, our instinctive reactions to our experiences and to sate our voyeuristic urges by eavesdropping on the conversations between public officials, captains of industry and the celebrities who – like us – seem to have forgotten the art of having a private conversation over the phone.
Perhaps our ideas of privacy have softened following the revelations and education we have all received over the past decade; where we have seen that the realms of what we considered confidential, private – secure – no longer are.
Phone taps, voicemail hacks, identity theft, credit card clones, scanners, Trojan virus’ and the piggy backing of a broadband signal. What once we thought was for our eyes and ears only seemed to be no more than a click, send, submit or accept from being in the hands of someone else.
So perhaps, like any immune system, we have built up a resilience to seeing privacy invaded and now no longer feel quite as perturbed as we would have in the days when a quick phone call meant finding change and leaving the house to find the nearest, cleanest, telephone box that was in working order.
Maybe the Katie Price’s, Kim Kardashian’s and Big Brother attention seekers have reduced the threshold of what we now consider to be private.
Could it be that we no longer worry about who could be peering through our curtains when we can log on to the Internet and stroll down anyone’s street via Google Earth? Street view allows us to walk up to the front door of nigh on any house on the planet and, if you forgot to close the door, peek inside your garage or count the new Coy you put into your pride of place fish pond.
Twitter, Facebook, My Space, Tumblr, Instagram – you name it, you can update to it. Privacy – who cares? There is so much to delve through that we will all probably get to a point where we reach access overload.
How ironic. We could reach the point where we have so much access to the inner thoughts and microscopic movement of all we know – or don’t – that we might not care to look anymore.
Perhaps the privacy we once held so dear will return to us – when we can no longer stand to log on and take a look.
How long before “Private – Keep Out!” becomes synonymous with “Who Cares – I don’t want to know!”?