In case you haven't heard, technology has gone public.
Yes, we can Skype to friends in Japan, send out group texts and emails to friends and keep people aware of our current location. We can post pictures instantly, video Fathers singing and tweet our musings for the world, limited by the number of letters, not people.
The problem with going public is that there is no discrimination. And so the search for intimacy has taken a shotgun approach - the reach extending beyond even our wildest imaginings.
With the speed of light without warning sounds, the social networks wield a power to destroy as well as create, to invade as well as inform, to cripple human dignity as well as advance human progress.
The screens are down, and we have become infatuated with this apparent freedom.
Someone recently said to me, "Through texting, I find myself expressing what I would never consider in person-to-person conversation."
All too often I hear what appears to be a blatant dismissal of human capability to discern technological usage when it's said that "in today's age, there is no such thing as privacy anymore." As if we have given in to our creations without hesitation.
It is ironic that through instant messages and texting with people we don't know, we act as if the anonymous and impersonal provides privacy. But in reality, it gives birth to a secret self; and a secret self has a hard time remaining in the closet - especially when everyone has access to the home. And that's what the present age offers - anyone at anytime can get into our private lives, our personal homes. What was intended as my little secret has now become available for the world to view. In looking for a moment of pleasure and escape from the ordinary through secrecy, we overlook what we truly need: Privacy.
We long for privacy as much as we long for intimacy - for the right to be out of our ordinary structure - away from the 24/7 mentality - out of the persona - dressed down - unscreened in word and deed - able to be without make up or hair pieces or legs shaved.
<strong><em>Psychologists call "liminal space" a place where boundaries dissolve a little and we stand there, on the threshold, getting ourselves ready to move across the limits of what we were into what we are to be. It represents a period of ambiguity, of marginality and transition.</em></strong>
Humans need moments of liminality, times we call a recess, a break, a relaxation moment or engagement in matters that promote neither fame nor infamy. It's getting away from as much as it is going toward.
How many of us go to Las Vegas? New York? The beach? All places that are out of our ordinary structure. We go for the expressed reason of rejuvenating ourselves - -and we believe we are within the confines of our personal privacy.
If we're honest with ourselves, we would readily admit that we don't want to see anyone we know - not because we are ashamed. We simply want privacy.
We say with no regret that adolescents need their doors closed at times, that healthy relationships promote rights based in trust and respect for the other's privacy. We tell children that there are private parts of their bodies that are not to be touched. And we offer the 5th amendment, through which one's privacy, at least until counsel is retained, can be shielded from self-recrimination.
We know the importance of privacy and we known the dangers of secrecy.Secrecy starves the soul while privacy feeds it. The advances of communication have brought us yet to another crossroads of understanding the human condition. We can take this crisis as an opportunity to feed or starve.
<strong>As always, the choice lies in human hands. </strong>