Tag Archives: privacy

The Invasion Of The Privacy Snatchers

It has happened again.

invasion

The invasion of the privacy snatchers.

We looked at our calendar and realized we have house guests for four weekends in a row, with two sets spilling into the work week.

What did we do?

A friend of mine once said, while I was lamenting a similar situation over the holiday season, “You must be an amazing hostess for people to w ant to come so often and stay for so long!”

I’d like to think so. But I am also a person that finds it hard to say “No” if I don’t have an obvious, socially acceptable excuse. So when most of June and part of July turned into Jane’s Bed and Breakfast, it kind of snuck up on us.   (Or sneaked if you’re a master grammarian.) 

Sneaked or snuck, we didn’t see it coming.

And now we’re stuck.

Today is one of my few days, with the house to myself (and two little gremlin sons) because the onslaught begins again tomorrow.

I love a home full of noise and love and laughter but I also love a silent home, a calm home and a clean home. As I’m scrubbing and washing and folding, I’m thinking “What’s the point?”

It’s all going to fall apart in about 28 hours.

So, I sat down to check in with all of you. Thanks for the distraction. I’d much rather be here anyway.

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Filed under All In A Day's Work

When The Lines Of Privacy Are Blurred

I was in high school in the 80s. I read 1984 and Future Shock and had discussions in class about Big Brother. And I remember thinking, I live an honest life. I have nothing to hide. So what if there will be cameras on the streets? That’s for the bad guys. The guys who deserve to be caught.

Case in point: Victim in Videotaped ATL Beating Identified

Now that the victim has been identified, hopefully the bullies will be brought to justice.

Then came YouTube. I remember watching a television show where a young girl video taped a man changing a tire who was swearing through the process. She posted it on YouTube and I thought, hmmmm. How many times have I been in public and displayed less than mature behavior? I certainly wouldn’t want my actions to go viral. Outside the confines of my home what kind of privacy can I expect?

With the advent of text messaging, camera phones and WiFi, our ability to spread the word or picture or live action is a matter of pushing a few buttons. A generation is being created who over-shares with virtual strangers and takes no issue with publicizing their own, a friend’s or a stranger’s poor choices.

As funny as viral videos can be, where is the line drawn?

My husband is a fan of Tosh.O. (Don’t judge. It’s his version of mindless entertainment.) The other night a video was featured of a woman, sticking her hand down the backside of her pants, pulling it out and smelling (tasting? I honestly don’t know. I was so grossed out, I left the room) what was on her hand. The person taping the event was laughing so hard the camera was shaking.

Obviously, she was displaying inappropriate public behavior. One could argue (and rightly so) that it was inappropriate private behavior.

What I find horribly inappropriate is that someone would…

a) think it OK to tape the action

b) think it fine to post the video evidence on YouTube

c) that others would watch, laugh and not feel the least bit squeamish that they might be watching something they shouldn’t

and…

d) that a television show would re-broadcast the video for anyone to see who might have missed it the first time around.

The more savvy electronics become the more detached we seem to be from each other. And the more attached we are to our plug-in devices, the more we disassociate ourselves from ethical responsibility toward others.

I’m stymied. I don’t have any answers. I want a manual, a guide and then laws to back up my distaste for this voyeurism that I find so offensive. I want others to join me in this disorganized crusade. I want someone or something to police the internet airwaves and root out immoral and offensive content. I want to be able to walk down the street, slip on the sidewalk with my dress flying above my waist, knowing that only a handful of people saw my thong. And as embarrassing as that would be, at least it wouldn’t be broadcast to the world, living on in infamy.

I know what I want.

But how do we get there?

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Filed under Be-Causes, Soapbox

An Exciting Friday Night: Jane Figures Out How To Create A Poll

Thanks to my dear friend, Shoutabyss, I’ve learned how to add a poll to my posts.

I am stoked!

This has been the highlight of my Friday night (sad, I know, but it’s the little things that thrill me). Now I can ask all the stuff I’ve been wondering – the deep, the trivial, the silly.

Look out, people. And get your nimble fingers in shape. I have a feeling polls are going to be a regular feature here.

My first curiosity?

See below.

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Filed under Because I'm Curious

Please Say That Tyler’s Story Will Change Just One Heart

Yesterday, I posted the faces of Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei in my anger. Angry at them for their callous disregard of our right to privacy. I wanted everyone to see who pushed Tyler Clementi over the edge. I want their faces to be known so that they can’t “just move” to avoid recognition.

Yesterday, I was angry.

Today, I am sad. So very, very sad that a beautiful human being has left this earth. A violinist. A student. A friend. A son.

I want to tell his parents how very, very sorry I am that they lost their son so tragically. I want to tell them I can’t imagine the pain and loss they are suffering. I want to tell them to “just breathe.”

Maybe it’s because of the losses I have endured these past few weeks. Maybe it’s because I lost a dear high school friend to suicide during our first month of college. Maybe I am hoping upon hope that Tyler’s death will be a wake-up call to every amateur videographer out there.

Just maybe.

“Yes, I understand that every life must end, aw-huh,..
As we sit alone, I know someday we must go” – But this was much too soon. And I ache knowing that Tyler felt so desperate, so alone, that he felt his only choice was suicide. And I can only imagine the pain and heartache those close to him (most of all, his parents) are feeling. Such guilt for not helping. Unneccessary guilt, unfounded guilt. But guilt, nonetheless.

“Oh I’m a lucky man, to count on both hands
the ones I love,..
Some folks just have one,
yeah, others, they’ve got none” – I am so blessed to have an amazing support system. And Tyler’s death reminds me of those out there who have precious few in their lives to turn to. I wish my arms were long enough to reach them all.

“Let’s just breathe” – We can only do what we can do. We can love our children with all our might. We can remember those in times of need. We can cling to our spouses, lovers or friends. But some days it’s all we can do to just breathe.

I chose to write about this again today because many of you commented that you were unaware of Tyler’s story. Tyler Clementi deserves more press, more than Ravi and Wei, that is. His is the spirit that was shattered. His is the life that was ended.

Nothing can bring Tyler back. But maybe his story will reach through the internet and touch hearts. Maybe it will turn hearts and change just one soul out there, encouraging kindness, compassion and most of all, privacy.

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Filed under Be-Causes, Music, People, Relating

Trash Comes In All Kinds Of Colors

The suicide death of Tyler Clementi still has me reeling.

When I first heard of the story last week I was shocked. Not shocked that an 18-year-old college freshman took his life. That is, unfortunately, not terribly shocking. Not shocked that he was gay. I’ve been aware that gay people exist in our society since…..well, since I could identify sexuality.

No. I was shocked, appalled, horrified that a personal, private, behind closed doors, intimate encounter was broadcasted all over the internet unbeknownst to him. That his roommate secretly set up a webcam and then tweeted to all of his twits out there, announcing when to watch.

Shocked.

Appalled.

Horrified.

What if that had been you? Or me? Any one of us in the middle of what we think is a private, personal consensual act and it gets broadcasted over the internet air waves for everyone to see. Our children. Our parents. Our neighbors. Our employer. Our mailman.

Everyone.

Think of how differently everyone would look at you if they saw that video. Could you still go to the grocery store without titters or stares?

“So move,” someone so eloquently said on a blog, “You don’t have to kill yourself.” I agree, suicide is extreme but let’s get back to your first suggestion. Move? Move where? Where don’t they have the internet? Where do you suggest dear Tyler Clementi move to?

Idiot.

And when I read it was his roommate and a friend of the roommate’s who did this? I have to admit. I didn’t form a very politically correct image in my head. I pictured two caucasian, homophobic yahoos. From uneducated, backwoods families.

And then I read about their background and saw their photos.

Two young people who may have suffered the same, baseless prejudice themselves. From educated families. Who attended some of the best schools.

What is it about our technologically crazed society that feels it is OK to video tape someone without their knowledge and consent and then post it for the world to see? I’ve had this discussion with my own daughter, who taped a man singing on the subway with her phone. She and her friends laughed over it. I made her erase it. It wasn’t obscene. But it wasn’t “quality” singing. And they were laughing at him. Not his t-shirt slogan. Thank goodness she didn’t post this anywhere. (At least, after our talk, I’m fairly certain she didn’t post this. And if she did, I darn well hope she took it down.)

My daughter’s lack of boundaries when it comes to strangers is common. More common than we’d like to admit. So common, in fact, that we’re focusing on the kind of sex that was broadcast by Ravi and Wei – not that any kind of personal, private, sexual moment between two people should ever be broadcasted over the internet. Ever.

The pain Tyler Clementi’s family is going through is unimaginable. The parents of Ravi and Wei must be devastated, as well. Hopefully, Ravi and Wei are feeling infinite regret and remorse for their actions.

But I’ve learned I am guilty of stereotype. I’m embarrassed that I wanted the accused to be white. It’s easier to perpetuate stereotype than to realize we are all fallible. We are all equal in that regard.

My mother was right.

Trash, does indeed, come in all kinds of colors.

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Filed under Soapbox