A Question of Privacy

Privacy is a much-touted concept, an intangible property we all feel we have a right to own. But is it really that important? How much privacy can we really expect, in a world where more and more of our lives take place online? How much do we really care?

Right now, I know that an ex-boyfriend has two pit bulls, a gun collection, and a baby boy on the way. I haven’t talked to him in over ten years. Another ex- is now a professional skateboarder, living in Paris. My husband, being a tech geek, is literally everywhere in the online world — a Google search on his favourite username turns up more results than I have the patience to visit, leaving me thanking my lucky stars that I am not one of those people who feel compelled to check up on the activities of my spouse.

We all like to think we have an inherent right to privacy, we fight for it, we obsess about it. When we venture into online communities, we may assume false names, even false images to represent ourselves…but do they grant us the assurance of anonymity that we believe they do?

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The Genie In The Bottle

Once upon a time…
This is how the stories begin, and from the first four words we know the ending we expect. No matter how old we grow, we continue to be affected by the tales of our childhood. These stories fill us with dreams and expectations which, even as we take our knocks and draw on the mantle of cynicism, we cannot quite expunge. Somewhere in the deepest dregs of our consciousness, we all still dream of the happy ending.

Our lives are given over to the end result. We are a culture obsessed with the product, the end point, the elusive “conclusion” with little to no emphasis put on the process which got us there. The schooling we endure is for the purpose of a good job when we are older. The job we do is for the purpose of a paycheck, or a chance to climb that next rung on the corporate ladder. The paycheck is for the purpose of buying things, and the things are for the purpose of filling up that empty hole in our hearts where our life’s purpose ought to be.

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