Creepy Crawly — Does Privacy Matter?

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Privacy is something more than being alone having a spa day or keeping someone’s secret. Privacy is more about courtesy and consideration. So my question is, why should we value our privacy?

I was up here in the burbs waiting for my third and final bus to get to where I needed to be. A man was talking to another man as he paced in a large circle nearby me. “Yeah man… I don’t get why they stuck me in jail. Don’t see why beating your wife is a crime.”

Okay… pepper spray is out and I’m texting the hubby to have him help calm my nerves. The man paused to take a long drag off of a cigarette then continued to run his mouth about beating women.

“Haha, yeah man I love slapping my wife’s black ass…”

OKAY! I don’t need to hear about your indiscretions and criminal activity. But in our PC society, I have to say the man does have his freedom of speech, I just wish he wasn’t circling the bus stop like a hawk screaming to the high heaven about his views on women. All I’m asking is if you feel the need to talk to someone about that… at least keep conversation to a low volume.

This whole experience made me think about how I lost my privacy when I lost my privilege to drive. I am constantly traveling with strangers and you would think after a while one would be used to it. Sometimes when I talk about my travels on the bus people say, "I use the bus too. Isn’t such a terrible thing." If you think about it, I wouldn’t have had to deal with the wife beater at the bus stop if I had a car. Despite me standing far away, his disregard for my presence put strain and stress on me. The solutions aren’t exactly easy: put in earbuds, read a book, or just tune people out, have all been presented to me time and time and again. The guy was still walking close to me and I wanted to be aware of the situation in case something went sour. How would listening to the Foo Fighters help me fight off this creep?

Privacy is something more than being alone having a spa day or keeping someone’s secret. Privacy is more about courtesy and consideration. So my question is, why should we value our privacy?
  • Respect for Individuals Something like talking on the phone in public or playing loud music just shows that one person values themselves more than the others around them. Privacy allows for social authority. When we value our privacy we show that we value the privacy of others as well.   
  • Reputation Management The one and only time I took the 15L was to head down Colfax to get to an epilepsy support group at the hospital. A woman got on, stumbled past me and took a seat in the back of the bus. Two stops before mine I hear, “EW! That bitch just puked!” I was completely mortified that I even got on that bus and I can’t imagine how that woman felt. She clearly has some problems but with the lack of privacy that comes with public transportation, her status in society has been ruined. And in a selfish way, I feel like mine has too.
  • Boundaries are both social and physical. As an introvert, it is tough to deal with the fact that I am always surrounded by strangers. It is tiresome and stressful. When the man was talking loudly and pacing, he was invading both a social and physical boundary. Privacy allows us to have time alone to relax. Relaxed individuals are more productive and happy (probably less likely to beat their spouses too).  
  • Trust and privacy go hand in hand. When our privacy has been invaded so has our trust in what just invaded it. It’s a shame that I’ve had to deal with nasty events and people on the bus. Trust is key when maintaining status in society and because of the lack of privacy I have experienced, I am always weary of getting on a bus.
  • Freedom of Social Activities I was minding my own business on the bus when a man came and sat across the aisle from me. I stuck my nose in the book I was reading, but I could feel him staring at me. I looked up thinking maybe he would stop looking at me but instead he began to hit on me. This creeper interfered with me reading a book and with my level of comfort. Whether I was polite or told him to f--- off, I still wouldn’t feel the same way that I had been feeling before. 
I share this to send a message that privacy should not be taken for granted. And to call the creepy crawlers that I’ve politely dealt with, remember what happened to ‘ol Boris the Spider.
 
"He's come to a sticky end
Don't think he will ever mend
Never more will he crawl 'round
He's embedded in the ground"
The Who- Boris the Spider
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