You’re Cancelled! The Value of Privacy in an Open Society

“All human beings have three lives: public, private, and secret.”

Gabriel García Márquez

In today’s interconnected society, it seems that people can obtain all manner of information or complete a multitiude of tasks with the single push of a button. A man could easily pay his phone bill and order pizza almost simultaneously while doing his job thanks to the internet. It has certainly made our lives easier in several ways.

Unfortunately, with that level of power in human hands, there are bound to be people, groups, companies, and even nations which will use this power to do harm upon others. One of the more egregious current trends of the modern era that has done far more harm than good in recent years is the trend known as cancel culture. For those of you who are uninformed, cancel culture refers to when someone is targeted for harassment by an online mob on social media in order to ruin their life. This comes in many forms but is mainly done in the form of finding out the victim’s address and place of work. The mob will then call their place of business in order to get them fired or send mobs to their residence in person with the intent of possibly harming the individual who has been doxxed. Eventually, this issue will have to be taken seriously & confronted at a national or even international level. For now, however, one can only do what is necessary to safeguard our privacy.

“To be left alone is the most precious thing one can ask of the modern world.”

Anthony Burgess
In the modern world, is internet privacy even possible?

Many will tell you there’s no such thing as privacy in today’s interconnected society, but that depends on the individual’s ability to safeguard their own private life. Privacy is by far one of the most important things a person can have, for without it, one will simply go insane and lash out. Many express their need for privacy in the form of a diary, or by traveling to unknown locations where they can get away from their everyday life. No matter how one expresses themselves, the fact is, we all need a separate life from our daily lives. An outlet is necessary for us to deal with ourselves and the world around us.

Internet privacy, although very difficult, is possible. The problem we face in this post internet society is the fact that most think they can become instantly famous just by making a few videos on TikTok, YouTube, or all the other various platforms offered by the ease of the internet. The incredibly high price for this narcissistic, instant gratification culture is the loss of personal privacy. This loss of personal privacy has been ingrained in our system almost with our complete permission. People willingly give away information about themselves without considering the consequences. Cancel culture is simply the weaponization of information that is already available in order to make the victim bend to the will of the mob. We as a society have been giving cancel culture all the rope they need to hang us with.

Think about the fact that everyone on social media likes to share as much information about themselves as possible with little to no resistance. People openly come out as part of the LGBT spectrum without worry of consequence and consider it “coming out”. There is a sort of mental manipulation at play when people talk about their personal sex life for everyone to see when the truth is, no matter how many laws to ban diassociation based on personal prejudices are written, there will always be people willing to find ways around it in order to ban or fire the individual anyway. Is it right? No. That doesn’t matter though since people can use existing laws such as at-will work policies to fire someone regardless of performance if they ever found out that person fell into the LGBT spectrum. Being willing to give out personal information for the hope of fame or a willingness to belong or stand out is an invasion of your personal privacy whether you believe it or not. Society has groomed the individual to give up their personal freedoms in order to feel like they can express personal thoughts openly. This is why people are willing to say things online that they should’ve kept to themselves. People are less willing to keep their mouth shut on personal prejudices, interests, or secrets. Some of the things said on the internet would not have been said if the person had given some forethought to the consequences of their actions.

My point is that people need to safeguard and embrace the idea of personal privacy. They need to be careful with whom they interact with for there are a lot of people with hidden agendas willing to “cancel” someone because it gives them the only power over individuals they’ve ever had. One must watch their words, create anonymous profiles, or have several streams of income to make sure that they don’t lose their right to exist in life. Be willing to keep and maintain any secrets you have for we all deserve at least one bit of information we can keep to ourselves.

A world without personal privacy is a tyrannical one. Only in a free society can we be allowed to have and maintain privacy. Cancel culture’s only purpose is control. It is a new term, but its purpose is obvious. Cancel culture’s only power is the soft and docile public’s willingness to embrace it out of fear of losing their livelihoods because corporations and employers comply with the demands of the mob. It is a false religion with no redemption or forgiveness because cancel culture is willing to go back as far as it can in an attempt to find something from one’s past to use against them. It is a removal of personal privacy. It is a removal of rights. It must never be embraced. One must never share what can be used against them if their face is on the internet. Many will say that hiding solves nothing, but anonymity gives one the ability to fight cancel culture without consequences. We must all live double lives until the time is right to openly fight the mob. For now, all we can control is our own personal behavior. Safeguarding our private lives is the first thing we can do before we forge on to face cancel culture.

“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

Benjamin Franklin

Until the next Daydream...

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