Cambrian: Opinion

Do we really want everybody to know everything?

Ed Kraycik, lost in a field of private thoughts and sweet peas along Highway 46.
Ed Kraycik, lost in a field of private thoughts and sweet peas along Highway 46. Special to The Cambrian

There have been countless debates over the benefits and maleficence of communications technology. But former U.S. security contractor Edward Snowden nailed it with his Christmas Day message. I agree with him on this topic, too:

“A child born today will grow up with no conception of privacy at all. They’ll never know what it means to have a private moment to themselves, an unrecorded, unanalyzed thought. Privacy matters; privacy is what allows us to determine who we are and who we want to be.”

Why is this important? Because the lack of privacy implicates “control.” Control implies that one is not allowed to think their own thoughts, like Snowden said, become their own person on their own, create their own life plan, or invent anything new just for the fun of it.

We have fallen into the mode of “keeping up with the Joneses” for so long now that this technical/privacy issue just grabbed onto the coat tails of that movement and nobody paid any mind to the extra burden it was putting down on the hem of their existence.

Don’t get me wrong. I believe technology has indeed vastly improved our lives and I am very proud of the advancements we have made in our classrooms, the possibilities presented. It is a means of accessing more and more information more readily.

However, it is that human encouragement to problem-solve using the tools at hand, the encouragement to use the tools at hand to create that is still so critical to conscious, healthy development. When Big Brother is monitoring that, who’s to say what will or will not come to fruition. But this goes way beyond Big Brother — it’s what we’re doing to ourselves, by our own hand.

It gets confusing, I must admit. If you are using social media, you obviously want your thoughts to be known and to be responded to. But what about taking your destiny into your own hands for once, to figure out for yourself via meditation, art, whatever? Brainstorm when you really need to.

Perhaps that’s the fine detail — sharing your innermost thoughts with someone who will be honest and non-judgmental. Someone like-minded. Someone who will encourage you to speak up, express yourself, voice your concerns without fear for your life. That is, after all, why we live in this country, eh? (Oh, boy this could go on .)

I’m just saying, remember how devastated you were when someone found your diary and read it? I still think it’s important to have those private thoughts. I’m just not sure kids realize what that means, posting pictures of themselves doing stupid things, blabbing every inane thought that comes to mind, pay no mind to what they are doing for their self-worth or how their comments and posts may ultimately negatively or positively affect someone else they many not even know. Choose the positive, folks!

Closing thought: kids, why hand your soul to the world on a plate? What crumbs will you have left to nourish your being and grow new leaves? And sometimes, just let a thought happen because it does.