Blocked SIM: on privacy

I woke up this morning finding out that the SIM card of my mobile has been blocked. I desperately tried to reconfigure it, but to no avail since I already threw away the card that contained its PUK (Personal Unblocking Key). I felt at a loss; a part of me got chipped off  like a piece of white chalk off the cliff of Dover.

Because of the complexity of the situation and the inappropriateness of this medium to write my narration of what happened before my SIM got blocked, I will rein myself from blurting everything that I felt this morning as it is not anymore sensible to do so, and as I am already feeling better this time.

I will instead talk about the precariousness of privacy. I find myself cognitively dissonant whenever people tell me secrets I have no interest in hearing, personal information I do not want to have anything to do with, or snippets of facts, that are although true, will jeopardize their good image, change how they conceive themselves, and influence me in viewing them negatively.

An individual’s privacy is his most sacred right after his right to live. Only the dead is stripped of its right to privacy. I was raised by my parents and learned from experience to be open about my thoughts and feelings but be very protective of my privacy. In our time when most people think it natural to shamelessly promote themselves, I hold on too tightly on this value that seemed to contradict our Facebook-status mentality. Let’s spare ourselves little dignity.

I care less if the becoming old woman seated next to me in the church has a roomful collection of gadgets she use to pleasure herself. I care less if the young man I sit beside with on the MRT this morning sleeps with the sister of his girlfriend’s mother. I care less if my favorite 80 year-old-professor goes out every evening to prowl Quezon City Circle and prey on boys with powder-encrusted faces.

Without sounding self-righteous, I respect other people’s other life. I think I am committing sacrilege if I encroach on the sacred line that separates the public from the private.

Am I saying this only because I am hiding something sinister, malevolent? Yes. But modern society through its institutions guarantees me this right to privacy. Whether I keep secret something evil about me is immaterial.  It is not the world’s, or the other person’s, business to know.

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