Privately Public

I remembered when reporter Erin Andrews' hotel peephole/voyeur video of her changing in her hotel first went public, all sorts of controversy came out. Sports talk radio was all over it, people were trying to Google the video so they can see her nakedness for themselves, and conservatives cried foul because Erin's privacy was invaded. And though I believe she is an attractive lady, I honestly haven't seen the video until today... when I heard a sports radio personality talk about it on the radio show today and only decided to look it up today because people are still talking about it. (Don't ask)

But the point I'm trying to get to... is whether we like it or not, even though most of us try to live our lives as private as possible by watching our backs, setting our facebook privacy settings, locking our doors, or even living like hermits, whether our name is known or not, we are living under the public eye, and we just don't know who may be looking for us, or in some cases, looking at us.

Yesterday, I briefly talked about a teacher in college that I sent a thank you postcard to. Today, I'll talk about a teacher I had in 3rd grade.

The other day, I got a message from a former elementary school classmate who found me on Facebook a few months ago because of an old school picture that I uploaded and tagged. She requested to be tagged in that picture, so I added her. Her message told me that she keeps in contact with our 3rd grade teacher (who happens to be in one of those pictures), and she might be thinking of joining the 'Book. Unfortunately, there were a few negative comments about that said teacher in those pictures... therefore I was asked to take the negative comments down because it might hurt her feelings if she happened to run into them.

Normally, I'm all for free expression and people should express themselves freely. After all, we're all grown-ups, so we should know how to act with or without censorship, right? But come to think of it, deleting those negative comments were the right thing to do, because just imagine if I happened to run into pictures of me, and the negative comments were specifically about me, I wouldn't like it so much.

But to add on, when I thought about it more, some of those comments did not personally reflect well on me. Now although I thought I was under the umbrella of amongst friends (since people who aren't on your network, more often than not wouldn't, search for you), these pictures are still public enough so people can see the picture AND the comments. So just like Erin Andrews' who thought she was safe to prance around naked for around 4 minutes around her "private" hotel room, it wasn't safe for someone like me (who's known to be positive) to engage and encourage negative comments about a teacher.

And the truth was, when I think back at it, I have tons of respect for that teacher. Because of the fact that she was hard on me at times when I was doing terrible, helped toughen me up and improved my work ethic. If by any chance she saw those comments, she wouldn't have gotten that idea.

So I did the right thing and deleted the comments... and I thought to myself that no matter what I do, whether I'm in the public eye or not, someone may probably be watching. So although we continue to guard ourselves and try to be as "private" as possible, at the same time, we should always try to do things thinking we might be watched, because you never know... we might be.

To paraphrase something that my friend Arel Moodie said in his book (whom I previously mentioned in this blog months ago)... when you do something, no matter what it is, if that thing you're thinking about doing happened to be featured in a front page of a newspaper, can you or your loved ones be proud of reading it? If the answer is no, then you should have second thoughts of what you're doing.

Although we aren't celebrities, I wouldn't say we have to act as if we are, but we have to be careful and guard our lives as we are. Believe it or not, we are as important as Erin Andrews or anyone you would see on TV, and you never know when someone is watching. So you have to do your best to be in your absolute best behavior as much as humanly possible.

Something to think about when you do something...


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