What is private space, especially in a world shaped by a hand with digital fingerprints?
A blog ushers just this kind of question because it is a juncture of the personal and public. And as many (many) times as I have envisioned starting my own blog, I find myself pausing on the question, which usually ends in me not starting the blog.
I get cold feet, you know?
I’ve read far too much Foucault not to.
And yet, there is something inside that wants to resist, wants to feed my own scopophilia on my own life, even (or especially?) if it victuals others’.
There is a fantasy, even in the 21st century, that privacy is possible; but the popular thought that interests me the most — at this present moment — is that privacy seems desirable.
Many people that I’ve known, including myself at times, have touted a longing for privacy, as if occupying a room alone was paramount among all other things.
I can understand this because there is a lot of bombardment out there. I’m invited to grow weary with distrust, even in myself, in this world.
But even more than this, my own longing for privacy springs from traumatic encounters with over-sharers, when I cover my ears and beg for them to value their own privacy. But I don’t like this part of myself, because it’s artificial.
The truth is, I want to know about people’s most esoteric life and I get frustrated when people talk around it, filling the space with buffer. Over-sharers seem annoying because they prattle about redundant, circuitous, surface aspects of their life, rattling them off without enough story. Story is the thing that I want.
Perhaps a longing for privacy comes from living in a world rife with these kind of storyless over-sharers. It brings into focus, maybe, our drought of storytelling in society, in our own lives, because it makes clear the avoidance and fear around telling stories.
Storytelling means sharing shards. Of self. Of other.
I suspect that this is what we want/need to do, but it’s scary.
So, then I have to consider: Is privacy about wanting no one knowing anything about you, or just wanting to feel alone or isolated? That question makes a difference.
Appetency for alone time seems warranted. I have smelled it’s delicious bouquet, and covet my alone time. But, there is also something truly self-pitiful about feeling fully isolated and alone: that “no one knows me” kind of degradation. It has its own beauty. Like, the close-to-death anorexic kind: the kind of beauty found in Death in Venice or an Egon Schiele painting.
It’s the kind of beauty that the bigger part of you wants to shun, but the lower-serving part can’t stop pawing — like a mangy, starving kitten.
My question is a wondering about whether people really do want no one to know anything about them. Is that the crux of privacy?
This blog is an attempt to send a yell into the ether that goes against privacy. I want people to know something about me, because I want to know something about them and of myself — because I want to understand humanity and the world better. Because I’m scared.