I am a conversationalist. My mother thinks that is my polished representation of simply being a talkative person.
I cherish sitting down with friends and family for long conversations. It does not matter the topic—as long as you have a good understanding of the subject matter, I am ready to delve into the pool of words with you.
I constantly have unfettered conversations with people I do not even know. I am the man who can sit next to a complete stranger on a 6-hour flight and be able to hold the conversation going for the entire duration of the flight as long as the contributions from the other party are witty and rich in facts.
The advent of technology and our new way of living have curtailed face-to-face human conversations, and this has turned many people into inadvertent loners.
It has become almost impossible for anyone to have time for another without deliberate insistence. Many of us spend the majority of our time talking to people we know via the screens of our phones and computers, even if these people live a mile away from us.
It’s sometimes necessary but mostly it is because we find the alternative tedious that we have pathetically consented to spending time with ourselves via the internet instead of in real persons.
As the rapid growth of app messaging and calls brashly pilfer the splendour of proper face-to-face human interactions and the nuances in sentiments such conversations come with, a conversation demolisher, made almost possible by technology continues to serve as a bulwark to free reckless but innocuous conversations.
This conversation demolisher, the capability and the unnecessary, albeit rampant, desire of other persons to take screenshots or hold onto jots of evidence from conversations for future sinister and outlandish purposes—has made everyone too careful that it is no more rewarding to be yourself.
We said the era of political correctness was an assault on freedom of speech. Now, what we face is scary, absurd, and dangerous—it is, in fact, a slaughter on individual self-esteem, freedom of thoughts, and conscience.
Things said or discussed with friends and family, expected to be cloaked in the sacredness of privacy by all the parties, are being divulged to others on social media. And by friends and family, I do not mean those you think are your friends or family members, but those there is no doubt in the minds of all including the parties involved that you occupy such a place in their life.
Generally, people like me who have a great understanding of privacy and confidentiality as a result of our professions also understand that not all things deserve the protection of privacy or ought to be deemed confidential, even if a party loosely or wrongly expects so. Privacy and confidentiality are not cheap protected gears, to be worn by all matters—if not, sharing and furthering conversations will be stifled and too much burden would be brought to bear on all persons.
Therefore, the matters which fall within the borders of privacy and confidentiality I am referring to, are not those that lie in ambiguity but those all reasonable persons including drunkard Joe would agree that they ought to be protected. This includes intimate WhatsApp conversations with an “object of interest” or any private fore or full play with such “object of interest”—borrowing the phrase from Efua T. Sutherland’s ‘The Marriage of Anansewa.’
Our generation of screenshot grabbers has become purposefully diabolical than the previous few pariahs who shamelessly engaged in ‘kiss and tell.’ Even then, a person could deny their accusations—at least it was their word against yours.
But now, your head and if you have a heart, that too would be put on a spike and tossed around on the busy streets of social media—if you forget that our generation is full of idiots who do not regard intimate relationships as worthy of any protection, especially when the relationship breaks down. Screenshot evidence, photo evidence or comprising video evidence will be splashed online for global circulation.
If people are freely sharing screenshots from their ex-partners or intimate partners online, then how dare you, a commoner expect any level of privacy from such people?
It’s a daily risk to freely open up and have unrestrained conversations or engage privately with those you ought to trust—a risk that many people are reluctant to take these days.
Nevertheless, a lot of conversationalists and obstinate fun seekers are not fretted by the culture of screenshot grabbing and they continue to freely engage all with little to no expectation of privacy—thereby being wholesomely prepared for the day the slaughterman will turn up at their doors. For that is freedom, and for that is rewarding than shielding behind muteness, dying a recluse, or conceding to the offensive culture of political correctness.