Rights, responsibilities, desires, curiosity – all play a role in our choices. In his blog, Eric has sparked a discussion about when it is alright to listen in on conversations, read a file not belonging to yourself, or otherwise infringe on a person’s privacy to obtain information – specifically about yourself.

Please read this blog post. I am interested to hear what other people think about this topic, as the comments on Eric’s blog thus far are somewhat insular and circular.

– KF –

3 thoughts on “Double-Clicking and Listening In: When is it OK?

  1. I think that this topic should not only be evaluated from the viewpoint of infringement on privacy, but also from the potential damage to the listener. Ecclesiastes 7:21-22 says “Also take no heed unto all words that are spoken; lest thou hear thy servant curse thee: For oftentimes also thine own heart knoweth that thou thyself likewise hast cursed others.” That’s the KJV, but the Living translation says “Don’t eavesdrop on others– you may hear your servant laughing at you.”
    The times I’ve heard people say negative things about me behind my back, in frustration or anger, have only damaged my relationships with them and hurt me. There’s also been times that someone has told me “Wow! When I first met you I thought you were really _______, but now that I know you better I actually like you!”

  2. I’m so glad that I don’t know the negative things people first think about me– I would be so hurt that I would never give them a chance to know me and get over misconceptions or initial dislike. I’m also glad that I don’t hear all the things the people who are close to me think/say when they’re mad.
    The flip side is that I don’t hear all the positive things either! But I think people are generally more apt to say the really good things than the really bad things to my face. So I’m generally content to remain in blissful ignorance. Although I do admit that I am quite curious, there are usually more straightfoward, above board ways to find out what someone thinks about me.

    How often do you find files about yourself on someone else’s computer anyway? I wish I was that cool.

  3. My friend PWX made a delayed post that actually agreed with my sentiments, so a little bit of the circularity is broken. Thanks for the mention Katie.

    It’s true, I’ve known a few people who have gotten over initial bad impressions of me, and I know of many situations now which had I known about at the time, it would have been utterly devastating. My current relationship wouldn’t have happened if I’d known certain things, although on the flip side it wouldn’t be able to continue if I didn’t know them now in great detail. But the real question isn’t whether or not we should damage ourselves, as that’s a personal choice, but whether it’s justified for you to even have the choice. I believe you’re right, in that mostly this information brings harm, and rarely anything good. But what I was saying is that if I want to take that risk, I think it’s okay for me to do so. Though at this point, even this conviction is being weakened.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.