Privacy #wordstudywednesday

I was talking with a gal just the other day about privacy. She said, “It’s all gone. It doesn’t exist.” And I think she is right… to a degree. But we can work toward changing that if we show that we care enough about each other and choose to show respect for each other.

There is a popular post going around titled: Parents, Do You Think Before You Post?

“Every day parents use social media and the blogosphere to offer up photos and posts chronicling all manner of child misbehavior, parental frustrations, and mishaps involving bodily fluids. I think these posts are made by well-meaning parents, unaware that they are creating an online identity for their children. But with every post, we construct a digital history of our child’s life—a virtual scrapbook for public viewing—and we might want to think harder about the trail we are leaving behind.”

The rest of the article is worth reading, too. However, I believe we need to think beyond what this author has written.

Webster’s 1828 Dictionary:
PRI’VACY, n. [form private.] A state of being in retirement from the company or observation of others; secrecy.

1. A place of seclusion from company or observation; retreat; solitude; retirement.
Her sacred privacies all open lie.
4. Secrecy; concealment of what is said or done.

Webster’s 1828 Dictionary:

1. Enjoying the confidence of another; trusty; that may be safely trusted; as a confidential friend.
2. That is to be treated or kept in confidence; private; as a confidential matter.

There are lots of people with social media accounts or blogs. Parents, do you consider before you post….

*People are not quirky, strange, weird, or have anything to hide if they want privacy for themsevles and/or their family,

*People have a right to privacy.

*Not everyone wants their or their child’s photos posted on social media or your blog… even if your child is in the picture. Maybe crop the picture and/or be careful to avoid other people when taking the photo.

*Just as you would respect {hopefully} your own child’s privacy, consider respecting the privacy of other children/families as well.

*Other people’s children will one day be adults and they may not prefer photos of themselves throughout their childhood being on display for others. 

*Indirectly and most likely unintentionally, you are a part of creating a visual trail along the web called internet of other people and their kids. 

*Photos can be a form of visual gossip. Let that sink in. Is it anyone’s business if my family is at a park day or field trip with other homeschoolers? No, not unless I decide that I want to let others know whether verbally or visually.

Privacy is a Biblical concept. Think of charity, for example (Matthew 6:1-4).
Webster’s 1828 Dictionary:

2. In a more particular sense, love, kindness, affection, tenderness, springing from natural relations; as the charities of father, son and brother.

Have you shown charity to friends or family? Did you sound a trumpet on social media (visually or verbally announce it)? It gives us something to pause and ponder about, doesn’t it? 

Our family is not Mennonite, however, our children recently attended a Mennonite VBS. After learning that this particular congregation does not believe in photos being taken, I was appalled at the selfishness and disrespect of others. Was ignorance a role? Maybe. But maybe it’s deeper than that. Maybe it’s a bad habit of spontaneous assumption that it’s just fine and dandy with everyone to have their photos taken and pasted on the internet. During the program, cameras were popped up to quickly snap photos. Is it so important to us to have photos and/or to visually announce on social media/blogs that we forget to consider others? To respect others? Do you think that the snapshots went unnoticed? Well, they were noticed by some of the Mennonites and they were noticed by my husband (I had to step out early).

To echo the definition of confidential… people should be able to enjoy relationships with others while enjoying the confidence {trust} of another. Maybe we ought to consider this to be the social norm.



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