An Expectation of Privacy

May June 2013 063

There are a great many things I expect. I expect that I will develop more wrinkles on my face. I expect that the sun will shine one day. I expect to overcome many problems in my life but not all of them. I do not expect privacy when I’m outside my home.

In this day and age it is the height of hubris to think that’s no one is watching. I don’t understand why people get so huffy when there is talk of making use of cameras on the streets. The idea is to catch people who are running red lights or are committing other infractions on the street. Why exactly are you afraid? What is it that you are doing that you don’t want to be noticed? Picking your nose is not a crime but it would be unseemly to find it posted on YouTube. So there is an uproar about a government agency designed to protect us watching, but no one cares about the teenybopper with a camera phone.

Any government agency that uses electronics has protocols and restrictions that they must follow. Teddy and Sally have no one looking over their shoulders when they take that picture of you with your fly open. Who exactly are you trusting? I do question the wisdom of relying on an adolescent’s sense of humour. If Big Brother wants to watch my every move when I am outside my home, go for it! Hopefully I will provide you with a chuckle and perhaps a break from a strenuous day.

Privacy is a concept that we don’t actually have the right to. When we were children our parents kept tabs on us for our own protection. In the ensuing years other authority figures have endeavoured to ensure that we were allowed to live our lives as we saw fit. Yes, we must conform to the laws of the land and to societal mores. But for the most part our choices are our own. There is however one snake in the grass:   technology.

We have phones that can take exceptional pictures at a distance without the intended knowing. We have computers that look right back at us as we enjoy surfing the net. Don’t get me wrong, technology has made my life much, much easier but at what cost? You can walk into any cafeteria full of students and there is an eerie silence. Many of the students have their heads bent over, their hands furiously texting to someone who is sitting two feet away. And no one seems to be too disturbed by this?

Are we loosing the ability to chat with another? I remember the casual repartee that some people were exceptionally good at. I remember getting to know people, hearing their voice with the nonverbal communication that went with the conversation. Is technology about to rob us of the tradition of conversing? I certainly hope not!

I love to talk. It’s no fun only talking to one’s self. At least not for long periods of time. I believe we’re all better people when we can share who and what we are with others. That’s why we are called ‘people’. “United we stand, Divided we fall.” Turn to a stranger and say hello, that’s how friends begin.

12 thoughts on “An Expectation of Privacy

  1. scifihammy

    I’m pretty sure our privacy outdoors, or even sitting at our laptop with a camera, is non-existent. Mostly we are not aware of it and it doesn’t bother us.
    As to the youth of today, I am very sure they are rapidly losing the ability to communicate and socialise properly. There is so much of communication that is unspoken (or un-texted) that you simply do not notice if you are looking at your smart phone!
    As you point out, they communicate this way, even when sitting right next to someone! Crazy!


  2. Jill Dunbar

    Well right off the bat, one of your expectations is right on: the sun is shining….Yay!!

    Have a great “sunshiny day”, my friend. God Bless. XO


  3. emilievardaman

    I no longer have an expectation nor an illusion of privacy, but I do hate the cameras. To me it is such an intrusion into our lives. It is wrong.
    But it is there, and I live with it.
    There is a sort of huge balloon about thirty miles from me and it has a camera on it that could see me change my clothes at night if it were focused in my direction. It could probably be used to count the freckles on my nose. It is supposedly to catch drug smugglers, but in over twenty years it has caught only a few – while it can monitor the rest of us.
    Sorry, I hate the cameras.


  4. mishunderstood

    One of my biggest fears is for the social decline of our country or even the world. I think it is happening. It makes me so sad that the generations to come may not have a clue of how to have a face to face conversation. It creates a cold environment. I am battling it at work where co workers want to use I-Pads with the babies in our daycare/preschool. What’s next?


    1. quiall Post author

      I see it happening as well. But ever the optimist I am convinced we will come out relatively unscathed. If we don’t I probably won’t be around to see it!



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