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The Era of Too Much Information


“Yeah, he punched her in the eye and knocked out her contacts. She slapped him back and grabbed his gun and shot him in the chest.”

I swear I wasn’t ear hustling when I heard this snippet of cell phone conversation. I was minding my business on my lunch break, checking my text messages and Twitterings on my phone. After hearing this cell phone convo with was happening in a very public area mind you, I felt like I was intruding on something very personal.

Over my years at the office, I’ve overheard conversations from coworkers about deadbeat baby daddies, bailing family members out of jail and shut off utilities. I even had one interesting situation where I’m in the ladies room washing my hands and the girl in the stall is on her phone blabbing about her overbearing boyfriend who decided to hang out with the boys at the strip club the night before. Already getting an information overdose, things get really awkward when a woman walks into the ladies room with her six year old; it’s take your kid to work day after all. Not even caring who may be hearing her expletive laced conversation, the girl continues flapping her jibs. Me feeling bad for the kid having to hear this garbage, I turn to her and asks how her day was going so far.

The too much information trend isn’t just limited to cell phone conversations. A lot of my family members and friends use Facebook as a means to stay in touch since we’re scattered all over the country. Social media is good that way. It also has a dark side. Some of my relatives have a tendency to reveal too much of their personal lives. I’ve seen feuds between cousins get nasty and escalate to the point where elders in the family have to intervene. Or my dear relative who publicly declares that her husband is a no good, cheating, lying dog and that she’s leaving him. An hour later everything is copacetic and she’s madly in love with him again. What right does she have to get offended a week later when somebody makes a comment about how he’s treating her? If she didn’t want anyone’s opinion, why did she air her business in the first place?

I’m from the school of keeping some situations private except for a select few trusted individuals. I just value my privacy and don’t want everyone knowing my business. Once you put your business out there you open the door for nosy people to slide in with their snide comments or opinions. So if I’ve got to make a call concerning personal matters, I take it to the car or leave the conversation at home. It’s something to think about the next time you want to discuss the crooked aunt who just ripped off your bank account or your jail prone cousin Junebug on your lunch break.

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