Old Money, Private Lives

Recent revelations by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden have revealed that we may not have had all the privacy we imagined as we went about our daily lives, online and elsewhere. Exactly what the government should and should not be doing, and what we can do about it, are subject to debate. Discussions about how much information we distribute online have now taken a cautionary tone, and rightly so.

One of the Core Values discussed in The Old Money Book is Privacy. Old Money has always been private to the point of secretive, and with good reason. With increased government surveillance–as well as potential employers surfing the internet to learn more about applicants’ private lives and internet providers tracking your every click–savvy citizens of all ages have learned to share less on Facebook and more in face-to-face conversations over coffee or a meal.

Social media has its place. It seems we may just now be learning how small of a place that should be.

Privacy allows us to make mistakes with moderate discomfort. It allows us intimacy with our loved ones that may be diluted–or perhaps even betrayed–as it is shared. It fortifies bonds of friendship and romance. It provides us a respite in grief and a refuge from the torrent of the world. It allows us to hold in reserve parts of ourselves, whether they be virtue or vice, from public view. We can have assets of character or currency that remain known to us alone, as well as debts or deficiencies that we may, in time, rectify with our own efforts.

For all these reasons and more, Privacy is a Core Value and every person’s right.

Cherish it. Nourish it. Protect it.


2 thoughts on “Old Money, Private Lives

  1. I am frequently horrified by what people tweet or post on facebook (not being a user of either service, I hear about them second hand.) I am bothered by these instances on two fronts: first, privacy and its decreasing value in our society ( I blame reality television!) and second, what gratuitous posts says about America’s level of self-absorption. Why must we share every thought, feeling, or action? More to the point, why do we think that those things are noteworthy enough to share? Anyway, an excellent point well made, Mr. Tully. Bravo on another insightful post!

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