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Perspectives are commentaries produced by and for WNIJ listeners, from a panel of regular contributors and guests. You're invited to comment on or respond to any Perspective on our Facebook page or through Twitter (@wnijnews), in keeping with our Discussion Policy. If you would like to submit your own Perspective for consideration, send us a script that will run about 90 seconds when read -- that's about 250 words -- and email it to NPR@niu.edu, with "Perspectives" in the subject line.

Sometimes We Don't Want Privacy


I hear a lot of crying, whining, grumbling … and even shouting … about invasion of privacy.

Yes, it's a valid concern … thanks to ever-advancing technology. But let me ask, do people really want privacy?

I think not. At least not all the time.

This is not about spying or eavesdropping. I'm talking about the social media, where messages are nonstop. People let the world see slices of their day — including snapshots of what they are eating. It seems silly at first, but is it?

A recent scan of my Facebook links shows me:

  • Someone apologizing.
  • Reactions to news of the day.
  • Details on a benefit for accident victims.
  • Expressions of sympathy … or congratulations.
  • Something to laugh at.
  • And one person simply saying, "I feel like just giving up."

This is where little stuff becomes big stuff.
I admit that I cling to any tidbit posted by my sons, who live in other states.

I used to joke about Facebook: "Hey, I do not need to know you just clipped your toenails!"

And people do seem addicted. Everywhere heads are bent over phones. It feels like a big disconnect from human contact. 

Perhaps what it really shows, though, is a real desire and need to connect. 

Our family was bolstered by an outpouring of support and caring words after a recent death in the family.

Email and Facebook provided reminders that we were not alone. I saved every word and shared with family.

It's not just the words that matter. It's the people attached. 

That's the point, I guess — people sharing sad news, good news, even what they are having for supper.

They all are simply saying, "Hey, this is me today. I do not mind if you peek into my life. In fact, I need it."

I’m Lonny Cain, and that’s my perspective.

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