One of the things that I appreciate (without agreeing) with Mark Zuckerberg is his very bold assertion that privacy is not a positive thing. It is certainly, as he puts it “an evolving social norm”. He sees his mission as making the world a more open place. It is a weird kind of integrity that he espouses- that our private lives laid bare in public would inevitably lead to less deception of our selves and others, less cognitive dissonance.
I was talking about this with my friend over the weekend. There is a difference between privacy and secrecy and that might be where the line where a positive and healthy thing starts to go rotten.
But then we got thinking about the ways in which our deep desire is to have relationships where we can safely and appropriately strip back that which is private so that it becomes known. Those who have a shortage of such relationships are technically called the lonely. They are the last great taboo of our culture.
We understand loneliness to be bad because it sucks. But it is not just that another Friday night with nothing better to do than watch The Late Late Show alone is a bad thing. This poverty of friendship leads to functional secrecy. Our private life, unshared, is indistinguishable from a life lived in secret. Loneliness is unintentional secrecy. This is far more troubling than not having someone to give you a lift to the airport for that dawn flight.
Your Correspondent, Picks up the rice in a church where a wedding has been