The one reason we are losing the privacy war

I often hear that if we really want to know a person, we should read what he writes. I find this true too. I cannot, of course, know a person’s detailed profile, such as his physical appearance or size of income or brand of clothes, just by reading his writing. But I can see him in totality—is he honest? Shy? Hot-tempered? Optimistic? Everything that matters does appear in his writing. Isn’t that scary?

I think this is what goes on. Words allow us to make ourselves understood to the world, but not exactly as we intend. When we express ourselves using words, we think that we are showing off our brand new clothes which are designed by us and comprised of our words. What actually goes on from the other side’s point of view is that our words strip our clothes off. Our words reveal not only what we intend to show, but also what we intend to hide. The untold stories also form their own shapes to highlight our hidden intentions in the form of silhouettes.

When we read a piece of article, we are reading both what’s written and what’s not written. We consciously register the written part, but our subconsciousness also keeps itself busy filling the missing parts, so that our mental picture always become a giant ying-yang world map, separated between the spoken vs. unspoken territories yet ultimately forming a complete sphere. We always read the entire universe in which the article/story resides, which is the writer himself. After all, we always try to see him In Total, from the moment we start to read his works.

Writing is revealing. In the modern world where everybody is a writer (we “write” in our Facebook page, Twitter), that means everybody is essentially naked to each other. By sharing our experiences and insights through writing, we are revealing our most intimate secrets. Stealing private information online seems so superficial compared to what we ourselves do to us through writing. The true reason we are losing our privacy war is because we keep showing our naked self, every day.

Writing is a double-edged sword. It is the most effective tool for us to describe the world around us—the city we visited, the food we ate, the people we care about, the job we love/hate. By avoiding writing about our private matters we think we can protect our privacy. But no matter the subject is, writing ultimately goes back to showing who we are, thus revealing our innermost secrets little by little.

If we are to lose all privacy (that is, to reveal our inner soul to the world), then why don’t we just admit it and move ahead (= keep writing)? Unless someone invents a way to communicate with each other without relying on texts, I believe it is a matter of time that one day we realize that everybody knows each other. Imagine that we suddenly lose all our clothes and told that we need to live naked for the rest of our lives. Well, that doesn’t sound too bad, considering everything on earth does that except us human being.