There is a dangerous trend which seems to be growing in leaps and bounds nowadays.
It is the living of our private lives in public, the unsolicited invitation given to members of the public to have a ringside seat at the airing of our lives. It’s our no-holds barred approach to life. Where we say what we feel, do want we want, show our best and worst moments without a thought as to how we are being perceived by others.
It’s almost as if there is a competition to be the person with the most indecent and shocking video and people seem to be eager to push the boundaries of what is morally and socially acceptable. Decency, shame and modesty are thrown out of the window in our bid to outdo the outlandish behavior of others. You may think that these action taken, mainly, by young people who are in the throes of puberty and youthful exuberance and seemingly have nothing to lose but the annoying fact is that people who should know better fall into this group.
I am sure you know that my angst is not against the videos that educate, inform and inspire others. My problem is with those videos of people- showing up naked to win giveaways, showing us the interiors of their homes especially when it’s not a feature on the series of the best homes in LA, Dubai etc , showing us how proficient they are in carrying out sexual acts.
It’s the fact that everyone wants to post -their baby bump pictures in the open (we don’t need to see how big or cute your navel is), the various brands of cars in their air conditioned garages, the vacations and places of interest they have visited.
The sad and embarrassing ones are the ones that constantly feature every aspect of people’s relationships and the airing of their dirty laundry online. The most recent being the video that circulated last week about a father who was upset with his son for failing his exams. If you are like me, you must be wondering why we needed to know what was happening in Mr George’s home. What is our concern with how he disciplines his son (mind you if the boy was being physically abused I will welcome such a video as evidence of physical or sexual abuse). In my opinion (which I am entitled to, since by posting the video the creator subconsciously sought for it) it was a family meeting and it should have been private. Neither Mr George, his sons or wife needed anyone gawking at their home and listening to their family issues. Except … if it was calculated to show us indirectly the opulence of their home, the fact that they could afford to send their son to an expensive school and pay so much. In short, it was to show us that in some way they are better off than us.
I am also of the firm belief that people should enjoy the rewards of working hard but there is something to be said for decency and good taste. It is true that crass always wants to be seen and heard. A visit to a lace shop will convince you of the point I am trying to make. The most expensive laces do not scream and shout at you. They look simple but draw you to them with their understated simplicity, exquisiteness and finishing.
I am convinced that the tendency to live our lives in public stems from feelings of inferiority complex. Otherwise how do we explain the reasons why people promote their own gossip and turn into the paparazzi of their lives, giving their frenemies and enemies ammunition to destroy them. Why will people amplify their mistakes before the whole world and then become angry when they are taunted with it. Why will we undermine our sanity and security by posting our every second, moment and happenings on the gram. Inferiority complex is more widespread than we think it is and it is showing up daily on social media.
It is an irony that we claim to want to live our lives without interference from others yet, we of ourselves, open up our lives on social media without thinking about the repercussions.
In posting things on social media we must ask ourselves the following questions:
1. What is my motive?– is it to vent our emotions, preen over our achievements and possessions or castigate someone?
2. How will these posts affect me and my loved ones now or in the future? – will we be proud, embarrassed or mortified by in the future, will it bring a black-lash to our friends and relatives, children or spouses?
3. How does it affect my reputation in the public? – It is now a well-known fact that most employers and embassies go through our social media handles before employing us or granting us visas.
4. Am I giving out too much intimate information– the only way we can justify our vulnerabilities in the public is if it is being used to inspire, comfort and help others.
5. Am I breaching moral codes– it is disturbing that some of us do not know what should or should not be shared in public.
6. Am I exposing myself to criminals or degenerate souls? – A lot of people go to social media with the aim of blackmailing, kidnapping and taking advantage of others.
The truth is that if your private stuff is all over social media, YOU and YOU alone are to blame. The internet never ever forgets and though you may delete earlier posts or take pains to explain the context of your posts, people never forget your past even though you may have moved from it. You will always carry the baggage of what you post(ed)
So, if you are living your life in the public remember, the choice is yours to make, ours is to read and judge you by what you post.