Life Politics/Community

Privacy: A Thing of the Past

Watch out, world! You're being recorded and you might be famous tomorrow. Privacy is yours no longer.

In our social media driven world, there is a new power bestowed on all of us. We all have the ability, for better or worse, to make other people famous. Everyone is now a photographer, videographer, Facebooker, Instagramer, Tweeter, and/or Youtuber. We can record what could be a lapse in judgment and cause a person infamy and ridicule from the world (a world full of people who apparently never make mistakes themselves).

Recently two sisters (of teenage status) outed a woman for allegedly sexting another man at a baseball game, all the while sitting next to her husband. The story has hit news outlets such as Huffington Post and Daily Mail, among others. The Hinson sisters are receiving international praise for their detective work in alerting the man of his wife’s errant ways. They are boasting of their achievements and, to prove to the world that it was, in fact, their dirty work that exposed the whole affair, they’ve posted images of the couple on Twitter. The image, and story, has now spread everywhere (as scandalous internet stories tend to do). Nancy Drew and her trusty sidekick sis wrote the husband a note, explaining what they saw, and provided one of their phone numbers for him to text if he would like photographic evidence (which he did). One of the sisters stated that she’d like to follow up with him, but “it’s not her place.” Hmm. Wonder if she’s learned about irony yet in high school?

Are these teenage girls some sort of marriage-saving vigilantes? Or are they home-wrecking gossips looking for their five minutes of fame? I would assert the latter. Do I condone what this woman allegedly did? Absolutely not. I value the institution of marriage, and even the promises made in any committed relationship. What she did is not right. But do you know what else it is NOT? My business. Or yours. Or the business of the all-saintly Hinson sisters and their Twitter followers.

These girls are kids. And kids today have only known a world where every move, every breath, is recorded, posted, and shared for the world to see. Maybe the new generation will have no belief in the value of privacy. But I remember a time before. A time when normal humans could make mistakes, own up to them, make amends, and move on—without being on stage. Maybe this woman did not think she was wrong and was never planning on fixing her behavior. But cheater or not, I don’t think any of us deserve to have a couple of nosy kids reading our personal conversations over our shoulders and then broadcasting them all over the internet. These are not actors or reality TV stars. They have not willingly invited this drama, this paparazzi-ridden fiasco, into their lives. But now it’s here. Brought on by two girls who haven’t lived long enough yet to realize that they too, will make mistakes. They too will fuck up some day. And somebody might record it. They could lose their jobs, friends, or maybe their entire family because somebody stuck their nose in where it didn’t belong.

Not everyone wants to be famous. Nobody is perfect. And modern technology and kind-hearted gals like the Hinson sisters will make damn sure we don’t forget that.

This post was originally published on The 21st Century SAHM.