Sometimes it seems that people have simply forgotten or otherwise blatantly ignored simple rules of social etiquette. Just because there is now a convenient medium where bits and pieces of our silly and mundane lives can achieve newsworthy status, we think we can do away with the rules we normally follow in real-life settings.

I am talking about the blurring of the line between private and public, leading some people to expose their private lives for the sake of public popularity or whatever reason. To look cool. To prove something. To make themselves appear bigger, by using social networks as some sort of convex mirrors.

Take private parties, for example. Unless yours is an open-invitation party, why on earth do you have to post photos of your private gatherings in a place where everybody else can see them? Look, I get it that your social lives are flourishing, I’m truly happy for you, but you don’t expect to post something like that and not expect people to react. And such reactions do not just include those coming from your own admirers and clique of friends who will never run out of superlatives when it comes to commenting on what a fantastic time they had at your party.

My simple rule here is that if your party is private, then keep those photos private. You don’t have to flaunt your fun in front of everyone else – much less the people you obviously passed over when handpicking your invitees. Let’s face it, logistically you couldn’t invite the whole neighborhood block. But if you had taken the time and effort to send private invitations to two or even three dozen people, surely it wouldn’t be so difficult to handpick them again when sharing your photos online? In real life, you would be committing a social faux pas if you end up sending post-party photos to people you didn’t bother to invite or otherwise didn’t even know about your affair.

Personally I don’t really care, get it? It wouldn’t add an iota of happiness if I had missed the affair of the year, the booze session of the season or whatever. It doesn’t matter! But I sure as hell don’t NEED to know. It would be much better to be kept out of the loop for good.

Sometimes it is just a simple matter of ignorance of privacy settings. Yes dear, there are privacy settings which you can edit so you can actually control who sees your photos, not the whole caboodle of your contacts. There, a flash of wisdom for you! Now go look it up.

And then there’s the matter of photos which scream PRIVATE on every pixel but still somehow ends up on a third party’s newsfeed. Really, people, just how interesting do you think are snapshots of your husband when he wakes up in the morning, or how he looks like while sleeping shirtless in bed, or you and your boyfriend smooching and sharing intimate moments on camera, or your toddler frolicking naked on the beach (ewww, think of how he/she will react when he/she gets old enough to understand!), etc. You get the picture. All I can add to that is: is there no shame at all? What were they thinking?!!

A little sense and sensibility, with a good dose of sensitivity to what others may be feeling, goes a long, long way, my friends.

Of course, that only makes sense IF we are truly friends.*

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2 Responses to Privacy

  1. Vivian says:

    I too worry about that… That we have photos of us and not those we did not invite, etc.

    :( Yeah social networks do have their downfalls. Would be nice if Facebook etc had an option where we can share w/only those who attended.

    Hmm…….well…..hard call.

    But yes, we can waste a lot of time on social networks……but they are a good way to see at a glance what all our friends are up to! :)


  2. kathy says:

    Since I posted this there has been a lot of changes in FB, and one of them is the ease with which we can control the content we post. It’s all there, but it’s also a matter of personal responsibility. 😉

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