Peggy Barnhardt: The good old days: before Facebook
Time and unforeseen occurrences befall us all and we accept this, but now technology records it and replays it over and over, airing it to the ends of the earth. The transmission is complete, with all the unpleasantness and the nuisance of anxiety that plagues us during these times.
Whatever happened to the good old days when people kept their mishaps to themselves? Children were instructed to keep family matters in the house, under threats of death.
Skeletons were left in the closet and persons cared about their reputations in the community, not wearing pajamas in the grocery store.
Women were ladies and men were gentlemen; children were respectful and the elderly were revered for their tried-and-true wisdom.
If correct conduct was not exhibited, geography prevented us from knowing. Access to that information was denied due to a lack of a centralized source.
Businesses now exercise privacy clauses to ridiculous lengths, making it difficult for mates to carry on routine business for each other. Identity is questioned when paying a bill, as if anyone would conspire to pay someone else’s debt illegally.
However, just about anything you want to know about a person can be found on Facebook, Twitter or Google, from addresses and employment to birth and police records.
Individuals expand the periphery by divulging vacation spots, arguments with their mate and friends, sexting, items purchased. And of course, the dark web is ever present. Some of these posts have resulted in loss of jobs, bullying, robberies and even suicide.
How did something so designed to connect, inform and preserve distant friendships go awry?
Ask yourself to what extent you have contributed to the fiasco and what can you do to change its trajectory? Well, it is all people driven.
Can you stop providing personal unsolicited information? YES. Can you consider before you write the impact it might have on others? YES. Remember once you put it out there it stays forever. Can you burst that bubble of egotism, recognizing that your every move isn’t notable (like what you cooked last night for dinner).
Make real memories, with real people, in real time, face to face that really care.
The reward is much greater.
Think about it.
Peggy Ann Barnhardt lives in Salisbury.