I’m house-sitting this week for some friends who have a beautiful home in the hills of Vernon. It is just high enough to have a view of the city and lake, just far enough away to be secluded and protected from the busy-ness of city life, and just near enough to require only 10 minutes or less to drive here. For the moment nobody really needs me to exist and that feels kind of nice.
Ah the sweetness of solitude. For an introvert it is a gift of gold, an elusive treasure, a craving sometimes forgotten but when satisfied is so life giving and full of rest.
So I open my Facebook account to see what’s happening in the rest of the world… and I wonder to myself, what should my status update be? What can I say that would be witty, compelling, interesting, convicting, or even tragic? What of my music career could I share with people, as I manage the delicate balance of the Christian musician between self-promotion and true ministry motives (not that promotion is bad – but that’s a whole other blog topic for some other time).
And I land where I’ve landed hundreds of other times in the recent past with my facebook status. I’m not at all compelled to join the trend of having my private life become increasingly public. ‘Careful’, I say to myself ‘saying that might sound like you have something to hide’. That’s a poor choice of words I now realize. More accurately, I have something to protect. That would be, privacy.
A couple of weeks ago a friend said to me, I miss the way it used to be, that when you met someone you hadn’t seen for awhile you had to ask how they were doing, and they could then tell you things, and you would talk, and smile and laugh or cry or whatever. True enough, the need for that whole conversation has been largely eliminated with the realities of social networking. We know everything about each other already, so we fast forward the conversation, or don’t bother with it at all.
Of course, there are many benefits to the technology like facebook, that has increased our connectedness with each-other… sharing our lives with friends and family from a distance – what a great thing for relationships. Having access to large numbers of people for very low, or no cost is an opportunity for musicians and entrepreneurs. But things are often double-sided, and with the good comes the bad. I could ramble for hours and Lord knows the world is now full of blogs and articles about the benefits vs. the evils of facebook and twitter and…
The irony of writing a blog about protecting privacy and sharing it publicly on the internet is not lost on me. But since I haven’t updated my status in weeks… well, I guess I’m posting this.
We all get to choose. You decide what measure of privacy you are comfortable with. I will do the same. And even though my facebook status may not indicate it, I do still exist (not that I’m assuming you were wondering). I just don’t want to live my life out on-line… now, where was I?
Ah yes…solitude…Jonny B, out…