There are so many people on the planet, over 7 billion matter-of-fact, and we are all crammed on this tiny planet. We bump into one another on a daily basis, so there are things that we can’t help but know about each other like the color of the shirt we are wearing, whether we are in a hurry or not, and maybe what our natural hair color is. However, there are so many other things that we can not tell just by looking and many of us like it that way. Why ? Why is our privacy so important to us? Below are some thoughts on the matter.
Have you ever walked up on a couple having dinner and all of sudden, they stop talking? More than likely, it was not about you, but it was something the couple deemed intimate enough to be shared only between them. Maintaining privacy is one of the ways we cater to our relationships.
You would not tell your child some of the things you would tell your best friend and you would not speak to your boss the same way you would to your spouse. For example, consider the earlier scenario. If a couple were always under the observation of a third party and never allowed the privacy of being alone, the intimacy that ties them together would not have space to grow and the relationship would eventually fail.
Each relationship is different, but what it boils down to is that, depending on what kind of relationship it is, the level of privacy needed is dependant on how comfortable we feel being open with the individual and how much we trust them to guard our secrets.
Freedom From Scrutiny
It’s a well known fact that the majority of the world’s population aren’t too keen on standing apart from the crowd. Privacy allows us control over whether we are exposed to the world or not. It is one of the only things most of feel we have total control over. The freedom to share or not share our own personal information helps us feel empowered over our own little bubble, if you will.
When our secrets are in danger of being revealed, we will often conform to the standards of the danger to keep our secrets safe. This could be as simple as a child doing the bidding of a bully, because the bully threatened to expose a crush. Often, the threat of the public knowing our inner self is enough to make us conform to the social norm. The average Joe just doesn’t prefer to stand out in a crowd.
Then, there is one of the more obvious reasons. Sometimes, it’s just not safe for some information to fall into certain hands. You could go extreme, here, and talk about how the fact that North Korea has finally discovered how to make and control nuclear weapons is just out right dangerous, or it could be as simple as one company finding out the plans of another company’s new product and making a preemptive strike.
The “information age” has been all about the freedom of having access to any and all information we want to know. While that seems to be a noble cause, many would agree that there are some things that just shouldn’t be shared. Another fun example would be not telling your kids what they got for Christmas. Ruining surprises is never a good thing.
Privacy is necessary for any type of relationship and is vital for our own feelings of personal safety. Remember that next time someone keeps something secret from you. Even if it is damaging, you just might be better off not knowing.