Privacy is being destroyed

September 4, 2012


The loss of privacy. We haven’t had it for long. In the middle ages most folks slept in common rooms. With their animals. Even in Roman times the rich were attended by slaves who saw everything. (Slaves were like furniture after all and one needn’t be modest around your television.) In the late nineteenth century very few people slept in their own bed, in their own room. Diaries were one of the few places where one could be intimate. It wasn’t until the burgeoning middle class could afford larger homes that privacy became the norm. And that was mostly after World War Two.
Now that privacy is being eroded again. By our electronic devices, by the accumulation of statistics on each one of us (by private companies as well as the government), and by a philosophy of openness. The sexual liberation that many are enjoying also means that intimacy/privacy is being destroyed. The sense of individual worth is demeaned by vulgarity. It’s not celibacy that I’m advocating. But discretion.

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