Monday, April 22, 2013

Creep Me Out

Privacy seems to be a notion that's loosing it's importance.  People post their innermost feelings and thoughts on facebook, Twitter, and other newer aps.  Photos are shared on Pinterest as if it's check out time at the library.  Blogs share photos of places where there has been no permission to trespass let alone photograph.  TMZ makes a business out of prying into the private lives of the celebrity world.  Reality shows mix talent, private lives, and private parts to let us experience private experiences we would never otherwise be exposed.

Is it a good thing?  Do we have the "right" to see these things. Simply because we "can" does it mean privacy is no longer protected?  I didn't think too much about it all because I'm not someone who likes the gritty kind of reality shows.  I don't really want to know what strangers do or think.  I don't enjoy watching people at their worst.  I've always felt "celebrity status" doesn't mean they must put up with invasion of their personal space.  Other than my personal taste on this, I went on my merry way.

For my own photography, I try not to take photographs that show a personal portion of some one's home.  I don't go into their yard without permission, focus on their kids, show something that might endanger their security, or be an oblivious ass.  Sorry that last part kinda slipped out.   

And then something happened to bring this privacy issue to my front door.

Late one night while waiting for sleep to kick in, I visited Pinterest.  It's fun to see gardens and garden ideas and a mindless time waste I was enjoying.  I entered "Bishop Hill" in my search and while looking at the pretty pictures of our little neighboring town, I suddenly realized one photo looked really familiar.  It was our home.

Now I know I use my own photos for my garden blog and share some on my garden facebook page.  It's a way of exposing my writing to the public. I realize those photos may be copied even if I haven't given permission. I try to be careful to not expose the more private portions of my life to people I don't know or those that don't wish us the best.  

So, how did this happen?

First off the photo wasn't one I had taken and that clued me someone had been to our home.  When I drilled to this person's page, I found it was a relative of someone who does business with someone else I knew.  Once, while I was at that business, this some one's mother had mentioned she was going to visit Bishop Hill one day and would love to see my gardens.  She had visited my blog. 

Surprise! She AND her family member not only visited Bishop Hill, but, apparently they stopped by the house one day when we were gone.  Not only did they walk around the entire property, going through closed gates, they spared nothing in their desire to photograph.  They weren't photos like you see here, they were of personal spaces.

I enjoy other gardeners and I enjoy their visits.  We often walk around and discuss gardening in general and it's loads of fun.  Occasionally in this process, a gardener will ask to take a picture of something - usually a flower.  So they do and we talk some more. 

What's the difference?  First:  they are here when I'm here.  Second:  they ask permission to take pictures.  Third:  they ask permission if they want to use it publicly. 

Nothing truly private was published in the fifty or so photographs on Pinterest of my home.  I have no way of knowing if there are other pictures out there that are more invasive.  Did they look in windows, make a list of things to steal, turn over rocks and peer down the rabbit hole?  Frankly, it creeped me out.

I had a glimpse into what the truly public figures must endure. My personal space was compromised and I didn't enjoy.  I can't imagine how much more it must be creepy when the public feels it has a right to invade the privacy of someone who is actually of the celebrity status simply because they can.

So we get back to "at what point should someone respect an other's privacy?"   Exactly what is trespassing?  Can we have privacy and be a somewhat public figure?  In the world of instant cell phone photography, long range lenses, and the need to know everyone's business, have we lost our right to privacy?  Tell me what you think.

As for me I'm still creeped out and the term "clueless twit" runs through my mind...


1 comment:

  1. Yes, this does "creep me out" that someone would go onto your property and take such rites.

    But, I don't live far from Bishop Hill & love to make the outing there and to be honest I would love to drive by your home. BUT, I would never go any farther unless you would be out in your garden.

    Your right. Nowdays it is hard to keep your privacy. Some people on Facebook, etc. aren't thinking of the big picture.